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ARCO Commercial Trips EAS Units(Updated September 10, 2010)

Members of the SBE EAS Committee and participants in SBE's EAS Exchange have identified a radio commercial being aired for the oil company ARCO, a subsidiary of BP, which uses EAS header tones at the start of the commercial. The commercial starts with shortened EAS headers, then the spoken phrase, "The following alert is from ARCO [ad material]."   The EAS headers are partial, but contain enough information to mimic the start of an EAS header, using the proper frequencies and data rate. When this commercial is played by a station that is being monitored it may cause some EAS equipment to un-mute and print a partial message.

While the internal monitor speaker is unmuted, the alert is not relayed by the EAS unit on the monitoring station.
Although the problem will only affects stations that both monitor a station that airs the ARCO commercial material and that have a particular type of EAS equipment, the SBE recommends stations check the affected commercial material. The existence of EAS header data in this material might be considered an FCC violation when aired.

FCC Reg. 11.45 states, “No person may transmit or cause to transmit the EAS codes or Attention Signal, or a recording or simulation thereof, in any circumstance other than in an actual National, State or Local Area emergency or authorized test of the EAS.

An MP3 of the commercial can be downloaded here.

A further discussion of this event is occurring on the SBE EAS Exchange. Click here to sign up.




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