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Hulu updates ad policy after facing heavy criticism for rejecting Democratic ads

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Hulu has reversed course after facing criticism for rejecting ads in relation to January 6th, abortion, and gun control. They have now updated their advertisement policy and will allow political ads to be featured on their platform.

A representative from the national Democratic Party previously said Hulu rejected their ads without providing an explanation as to why. The official said the only explanation they received from Hulu that it was a “content related” issue. The Washington Post was the first outlet to report on the rejection of the ads.

According to MarketWatch, Hulu is primarily owned by Disney, which owns a majority stake in the company. Comcast also owns a minority share. The company had 45.6 million subscribers as of May 2022.

Disney has released a statement on behalf of Hulu, notifying the public of their updated ad policy. “After a thorough review of ad policies across its linear networks and streaming platforms over the last few months, Disney is now aligning Hulu’s political advertising policies to be consistent with the Company’s general entertainment and sports cable networks and ESPN+,” Disney told Axios on Wednesday.

“Hulu will now accept candidate and issue advertisements covering a wide spectrum of policy positions, but reserves the right to request edits or alternative creative, in alignment with industry standards,” the statement continued.

As per the Communications Act of 1934, television broadcast networks are legally required to give air time to political ads from both the Democrat and Republican parties. The law is clear in saying that no network “shall have no power of censorship over the material broadcast” against any legitimate candidate. However, Forbes reported that streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix are not legally obliged to follow this guidance.

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