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Underwriting Fundamentals Underwriting Used to thank companies and individuals for “in-kind support” of a non- commercial broadcast entity. Examples of non-commercials include: • National Public Radio (NPR) • Public Broadcast Stations (PBS) • Corporation for Public Broadcasting Underwriting Companies donate money to support a noncommercial station or network The station then thanks them for their donation. This “thank you” is called an underwriting credit. Not referred to as “advertising.” More of an incentive to donate or support non- commercial station. Underwriting 1984. FCC relaxed rules Now may use • Logograms or established slogans. • OK if descriptive only. • If contains sales information (“The Best a Man Can Get.”) must have been using for at least 2 months. • Location Information • Value neutral descriptions of a product line • Brand names and trade names • FCC rules do not apply to non-profit organizations or, by extension, PSAs. Underwriting Specifications for On-Air Credits • Credits are 10 seconds long. • Almost always voiced by an announcer. • Contain no produced music bed. • Contain no sound effects. Underwriting • Credits may include: • the organization or company name; • the name of a subsidiary, operating division or parent company; • any additional language which further clarifies the identity of the underwriter. Underwriting • This language may contain: • A neutral description of products or services; • A recognized corporate slogan that identifies the company or products; • A statement of business locations; • A World Wide Web address; • A toll-free phone number; • The organization's mission; • A mention of the particular programming being supported (ex: "for coverage of Eastern Europe..."); • The duration of the business or service (ex: "providing services to businesses for over 50 years...") Example of Acceptable Underwriting Spot Programming is brought to you by New York Long Term Care Brokers. Long- term care insurance and retirement planning. Our policy is taking care of you. New York Long Term Care Brokers. Example of Acceptable Underwriting Spot Programming support of financial news on NPR is provided by Rosner Soap of Sugar Loaf, New York. Creating traditional soap since 1745. Underwriting Language MAY NOT contain: • Reference to price • Can’t give the price of an item or items or category of items. • Can’t discuss promotional pricing. • Cannot give a “ballpark” figure • Cannot use comparative terms – “less than other stores prices,” “reduced,” “special.” • Cannot list interest rates. Underwriting Language MAY NOT contain: • Reference to Price: • Cannot imply a discount or imply comparative pricing. • Can’t use the term “free” • This is true in English or in another language. • Can’t say that you accept credit cards. • Can’t say that you accept “campus cash.” Underwriting Language MAY NOT contain: Comparative inducement to buy: • Cannot compare your product, service or company to the competition • Includes implied comparison: • Seafood buffet this Friday. (OK to say Seafood buffet every Friday.) • “The cars with the best fuel economy.” • “We specialize in foreign auto repair.” • “With a specially trained sales staff…” • “….specializes in….” Underwriting Language MAY NOT contain: Value Statements: • Amazing! • Great! • The best! • Fine; • Award-winning (or name awards won); • Or the name of any product, if that means that this product is certifiably better than the competition – (USDA prime, board- certified, Fender, Angus Beef). Underwriting Language MAY NOT contain: Call to action: • Visit our showroom…. • Call today…. • Don’t miss out on this special offer…. • Check us out…. • Come see our new line of Buicks…. What if you violate one of these rules: • FCC cannot seek you out. • Must receive complaint. • Who would complain? • Levels of fines • From warning in a file • To $20,000 fine per occurrence. Legal or Illegal? Jones Toyota. Are you tired of big gas bills? The 2006 gas/electric Toyota Prius offers amazing fuel efficiency. Stop by for a test drive today at Jones Toyota, 955 South Main Street. Problems? • Amazing • Stop by… • Fuel-efficient • Grey area – how much can you say about the hybrid? Legal or Illegal? Tim’s Dancefloor. Where every night is Ladies Night. Live music every Friday and Saturday with a $5.00 cover charge. This month’s performers are on the web at tims.com. Problems? • “Ladies Night” is promotional pricing. Implies a price discount. • Can’t list prices. • Live music is O.K. as long as they are not the only ones with live music on Fridays. • OK to direct to web site for more information. Legal or Illegal? Bonanza Buffet. Make that “Freshman 15” count this weekend with an all-you- can-eat buffet from 6 – 10 pm. Bonanza Buffet. In the Thomas Road Mall. Promotional Pricing Can’t use phrases like “all-you- can- eat.” Events like “Freshman Fridays” are questionable Legal or Illegal? Body Canvas with the only two certified tattoo artists in the city. No design is too complicated. If you can imagine it, we can draw it. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Problems? Comparative Pricing • “Only two board-certified” • Grey area: • “No design too complicated” • “If you can imagine it…” • Do these imply that other tattoo parlor cannot do this? Legal or Illegal? Don’t miss Prestige Cinemas Holiday Film Bonanza. Come see some of the greatest Christmas films ever made, including Academy Award winner “Miracle on 34th, plus family classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story and Holiday Inn. Problems? Don’t miss…. Come see…. Holiday Film Bonanza • “Holiday Film Celebration” – iffy • “Holiday Film Festival” -- OK Greatest Classic Academy Award winner Today’s programming is sponsored by Prestige Cinemas’ Holiday Film Festival. Offering 5 holiday films throughout December. Films include: Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story and Holiday Inn. For more information call 330- 555-1212. Legal or Illegal? Enchanted Woods Apartments. With a wide range of amenities including free cable, high-speed internet access, dishwashers, self-cleaning ovens and ceramic tile. For more information, dial 313-788-0984. Problems? Free cable High-speed internet? • Is this value neutral? • It is a label, but the language is value- added. • Internet access would be OK • Best bet – “broadband” Can’t say “dial”. Legal or Illegal? Federal Express. Now accepting applications for delivery personnel. Applicants must possess a valid driver’s license, be able to pass a substance abuse test and be able to lift heavy loads. More information online at fedex dot com. Problems? Can’t recruit. May only use underwriting to promote your business. It is not the job of Federal Express to recruit employees. If your sponsor were Callas Personnel Services, they could promote the jobs for which they were hiring, but Kauffman’s could not. Legal or Illegal? First Church is the only way to eternal salvation and those who follow His teachings will be blessed. First Church is holding a seminar on same sex marriage this Friday at 7:30 explaining why God intends marriage to be between one man and one woman. More information available at 399-555- 1111. Problems? In terms of the FCC – it is fine. Assuming First Church is non-profit, none of the rules would apply. Also, language is appropriate based on FCC rules even if not a non-profit. However, would create an inconsistent sound. Problems? May accept account but require them to adhere to the rules that commercial organizations face. A station may refuse to accept religious underwriting as matter of policy. Or they may accept it, but under the condition that spot does not include proselytizing . If they accept underwriting from one religious entity, they must accept from all. Legal or Illegal? Anheuser Busch, makers of Bacardi Silver Watermelon, the newest member of the Bacardi family. Drink Responsibly. Read more about alcohol and substance abuse at college talk dot com. Problems? Alcohol is OK “New” is OK – as long as adhere to the FTC regulations.