Underwriting differs from commercial advertising in both sound and spirit. The public radio audience responds best to straightforward information presented in a concise, clear and sincere manner.
- All underwriting credits must include the legal name of the underwriter, and are preceded by the opening phrase “SUPPORT FOR MICHIGAN RADIO COMES FROM… ”
- Michigan Radio underwriting announcements are: fifteen (15)-seconds in length and read live by station announcers
- All underwriting announcements must comply with FCC rules and Michigan Radio policy as outlined below:
Underwriting Credits MAY Include:
- Information about the company, brand names, and descriptions of products and services offered, delivered in a “value neutral”, non-promotional manner
- Years in business or offering service
- Business location, phone number OR web site address
- Established corporate slogans stating the company’s philosophy or positioning statement in a manner that is in keeping with public radio copy guidelines
FCC underwriting guidelines require that underwriting language not contain:
- Calls to action; i.e., "call", "stop by", “email”, “visit”, or phrases prompting action,
- References to price; i.e., "free", “10% percent off”, “complimentary”, “no down payment”, etc.,
- Qualitative or comparative language or claims; i.e., "best", "greatest", "most reliable", “oldest”, “largest”, “can improve/provide/teach/expand…” etc.,
- Inducements to act; i.e., “while supplies last”, “special gift”, "on sale", “limited offer” etc. ,
- Overstated or subjective language; i.e., “fun-filled”, “enjoyable”, “long awaited”, “by popular demand”, “, “authentic character”, “informed counsel”, “professional advice”,
- Endorsements; i.e., “recommended by New York Times”, “the Wall Street Journal says..”
- Credentials; i.e., “Board certified”, “Award winning”,
- Words such as "you," "your," "our," and "we" are not permitted as part of underwriting language. It suggests a personal endorsement on the part of the station.
These guidelines are based on FCC rules and on Michigan Radio policy. They are designed to protect the non-commercial nature of public radio and preserve the style and sound that public radio listeners value and respond to. Michigan Radio program management requires at least 48 hours for edits and/or approval.
Disclaimer: Michigan Radio reserves the right to refuse any request for underwriting that would violate an FCC rule or policy, violate station policies or adversely affect the reputation or financial condition of the station. No announcements will be aired on behalf of political organizations, political candidates or their committees, or that express a view on issues of public importance or interest or religious belief. No more than one (1) event may be listed in any underwriting announcement. No more than 6 underwriting announcements may air in one day (and may be less depending on inventory).
For more information, please call Kathy Agosta, Director of Corporate Support at 734-763- 5984 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org