LS 311 Unit 2: CARDWARE’s First Amendment

Running head: First Amendment

CARDWARE’s First Amendment

LS 311


To: Rice E. Roni, Supervising Attorney, CARDWARE Inc.


Re: CARDWARE First Amendment Right to air a commercial.

Introduction: Cardigans are a clothing store with a progressive lean in their business practices; they also keep up on the latest laws and regulations that have an impact on their business. Cardigans are introducing a new line of clothing called “Scantily Clad” this also includes a slogan “So Light You Won’t Know You are Wearing a Thing!” A local television station named WBLAH told the owner of Cardigans, Candie Cardigan that they will not air such a commercial due to the content, and that they didn’t view it as appropriate for children. We will look at the free speech right of Cardigan and that of the network that approves or disproves the commercial made by Cardigan.

Body: Let me start by saying that the first amendment of the United States Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridge the freedom of speech…” Advertising is protected by the First Amendment, however the advertising or what is sometimes called commercial speech enjoys somewhat less protections from the government then other types of speech (FindLaw, 2019). You might not want to hear it, but the networks have a right to approve what kind of commercials they have on their network. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does play a factor in a network picking a commercial, but the right to broadcast material is not absolute. Each individual licensee or network have the discretion to select what their peculiar station broadcasts and to otherwise determine how it best serves the community that they provide. The rules and definitions for these licensee or network lie in the 47 C.F.R. § 76.5 regulations. In light of the First Amendment and 47 U.S. code § 326 of the Communications Act, we do not substitute our judgment for that of the licensee, nor do we advise stations on artistic standards, format, grammar, or the quality of their programming. (Federal Communication Commission, 2019). The networks do have to provide Cardigan with a response on a timely manner. WBLAH is not stopping Cardigans’ First Amendment rights, WBLAH are protecting their own free speech rights to show what they want on their network. Cardigan has the right to take their new commercial to another network to be aired. Cardigan has to right to create their commercial, but they do not have the absolute right to place it on someone’s network. The only case that is found is the case where CNN refuse to air Trump campaign ad aimed at another candidate because they claim that it was “demonstrably false” (Knowles, 2019). A case that the network as well as NBCU disagreed with the commercial that they refused to show it on their network and did not want to be associated with it.

Conclusion: Cardigans can submit their storyboards for review to the network they which to show the commercial on, the network editor will look it over, and may ask for revisions or editing that would make the video more suitable for their network. The First Amendment allows Cardigans to create a new commercial for their brand, however the First Amendment allow the network to use their First Amendment rights to decide what is aired on their network.

In the state of Iowa, it leaves the decision to approve or disapprove the commercials with the network. If the network disapproves of the Cardigan commercial the company can submit a request to the main network office for reconsideration (FindLaw, 2019).


Federal Communication Commission. (2019, August). The Public and Broadcasting. Retrieved November 18, 2019, from

FindLaw. (2019). I Have a Great Commercial, So Why Won’t the Networks Air It? Retrieved November 18, 2019, from

Knowles, H. (2019, October 3). CNN won’t run two Trump campaign ads, citing ‘demonstrably false’ claims. Retrieved November 18, 2019, from

47 C.F.R. § 76.5