Program sponsorship on WRES is a great way for your business to provide tax-deductible support for the station while identifying, informing and describing your business on the air. While many sponsors (or underwriters) report better success with underwriting than with other advertising efforts, sponsorship messages must be seen as a way to inform listeners, not promote a business. Because we are a non-commercial station, we are prohibited by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to air advertisments. They view underwriting credits as a way to acknowledge gift support by businesses.
After identifying the name of a business, the underwriting credit can include as many as 30 words of descriptive copy. More than once message can be used in rotation. Also, the message can be changed as needed with advance notice.
The FCC has set specific guidelines that must be observed regarding the language of underwriting announcements. In addition, the station has a few additional guidelines to assure a non-commercial sound. Here are the basics:
- No narrative descriptions: words like best, better, more or superior.
- No qualitative descriptions: words like excellent, tasty or good.
- No pricing information: that is, no mention of interest rates, discounts, sales or savings information.
- No calls to action: such as Try Texaco next time you buy gasoline or Enjoy a night out at Montclair Restaurant.
- No inducements: such as now offering free checking, or six months free service when you call today.