I have been a fan of the noncommercial programming of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, and I support MPBN through my monthly donations.

It had been refreshing to depend on a channel that did not clog the airwaves with commercial product ads. However, I notice a significant change and wonder if the “noncommercial character of public broadcasting has been protected and preserved” (to paraphrase PBS’ production guidelines).

The ads appearing on shows that I have watched recently on MPBN are exactly the same ads that appear on commercial channels (like HGTV). The advertisers will add the disclaimer that they support whatever the show is, but isn’t an ad an ad?

For example, Allstate Insurance, Gorilla Glue, Lumber Liquidators and many more are exactly the same advertisers who appear on commercial channels. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it probably is a duck, right?

I just wonder if this is fair to those who financially support MPBN as a nonprofit, including taxpayers.

Pamela Smith

North Yarmouth