Unlike our commercial broadcasting counterparts that sell traditional advertising to support their operations, WEEM relies on donations, and underwriting (sponsorship) to cover our major operating expenses. Underwriting offers businesses, and individuals, the opportunity to maximize their investment at a fraction of the price of a traditional commercial announcement. Some clarification on underwriting and how it differs from commercial advertising has been gathered and is available here.
To find out more about becoming an underwriting partner with WEEM just click here to contact our professional staff.
Program underwriting allows businesses and individuals to support WEEM. Unlike a donation, underwriting gives our partners access to our loyal and diverse listeners through “sponsored messages” on air, and online. These announcements, or branding messages, identify the supporter and provide essential information about that business / individual, including their name, contact information, and a list of value neutral products / services. An example branding message would be along the lines of this:
WEEM is supported by Douglas Salon with 2 Madison County area locations: The Splendor Salon and Spa and the East Anderson Salon inside the East Anderson Hotel. Now offering gift cards for Mother’s Day. Hours, Directions and more information available at Douglas Salon dot com or by phone 765-222-2222
Announcements are limited to no more than 3 per hour, making these messages stand out far more than on the cluttered airwaves of our commercial broadcasting counterparts. Underwriting also shows the community your commitment to it, our schools and our students.
WEEM’s Underwriting Guidelines
Underwriting spots are approximately 20-30 seconds in length. All underwriting spots, regardless of company, must include a message of support from the company paying for the spot i.e. “WEEM is supported by ”, “WEEM is underwritten by” etc.
WEEM reserves the right to determine that an underwriter or the content of a proposed announcement are inconsistent with the station’s mission or would undermine community support for the station. In these cases, sponsorship may be declined.
WEEM does not accept underwriting from the following business types; Political candidates and/or organizations, Lotteries and Casinos identifying or describing gambling activities, Tobacco & Alcoholic Beverages, and/or companies whose messages advocate a position with respect to controversial issue(s).
Underwriting FCC Credit Guidelines General Guidelines
Radio spots are a maximum of 30 seconds and are either read live or pre-recorded by WEEM staff. They may not contain music beds or sound effects.
Public Service Announcement (PSA) spots are the exception and may extend to 60 seconds in length.
A business, service or event must be described in value neutral terms which avoid comparative or qualitative claims, superlative descriptions or promotional language. Examples include: “expert”, “finest”, “leader”, “best”, “greatest”, “most reliable”, etc.
The credit may not contain calls-to-action or solicitation of direct consumer response. Examples include: “call today”, “stop in”, “give it a try”.
Price or value information is not allowed.
Wording that speaks direct to the consumer is not allowed. Exmples include: “you”, “I”, “we”, “me”, and “our”
The physical location of a business (city, area, town, or cross streets) and phone number or web site addresses may be included.
Established corporate identifiers or corporate positioning statements may be allowable.
Slogans coined for specific marketing campaigns are not allowed.
Acknowledgments may be made for identification purposes only and should not promote the contributor’s products, services, or company. For example, logos or logograms used by corporations or businesses are permitted so long as they do not contain comparative or qualitative descriptions of the donor’s products or services.
Company slogans which contain general product line descriptions are acceptable if not designed to be promotional in nature. The inclusion of a telephone number or web address in an acknowledgment is within these general guidelines and, is therefore permissible.
Several examples of announcements that would clearly violate the rule may be helpful:
Announcements containing price information are not permissible.
This would include any announcement of interest rate information or other indication of savings or value associated with the product. An example of such an announcement is: “7.7% interest rate available now.”
Announcements containing a call to action are not permissible.
Examples of such announcements are: “Stop by our showroom to see a model”; “Try product X next time you buy oil.”
Announcements containing an inducement to buy, sell, rent, or lease are not permissible.
Examples of such announcements are: “Six months’ free service”; “A bonus available this week”; “Special gift for the first 50 visitors.”
The FCC relies on the good faith determinations of public broadcasters in interpreting its non-commercialization guidelines.
WEEM reserves the right to refuse any company that does not meet above written guidelines.
*Section 399B of the Federal Communications Act of 1934 and Sections 73.503(d) and 73.503(e), FCC 2d 255 (1994)