Underwriting is advertising on non-commercial radio stations like 97.9 WREN. After over 30 years of having little interest in the non-commercial FM band, the FCC, in 1984, introduced so-called “enhanced underwriting” so that non-commercial radio stations could offer a valid advertising product to business for self-support. The rules for enhanced underwriting were lifted from the German rules for commercial radio.
Messages are not supposed to contain:
1 – ‘Calls to action’ (“Come on down!”)
2 – Qualitative language (“great”), or
3 – Comparative language (“-er, “”est” words, prices)
Your product and its contents can be described (ingredients of meals, features of cars, materials in furniture, mode of manufacture). Previously established slogans are OK. Website mentions are fine. Most FCC attorneys believe these rules to be “unconstitutionally vague” (and they have never been court-tested), so a grey area does exists as to what is permitted. Some language is clearly out, but at this station we try to keep up with what other non-commercial radio stations are doing, and offer you the most leeway possible to get your message across.
Note that many impermissible words are the many lists of words that have been researched as actually DETRACTING from the credibility of all advertising. Describing your product as “great” will not make it attractive; telling people WHY it’s great will. Price numbers are never remembered by test audiences; an invaluable sounding product transcends price.
As with all radio, frequency of product mention is paramount, and we can help you with that in the most efficient way possible. A quick listen to our station’s broadcasts or stream will give you a great idea as to what we are doing to help promote local, Central Virginia businesses. Just fill out the form below or call us at 434-422-0415 for more information.
Public Service Announcements (PSAs): 97.9 WREN will gladly promote many types of events presented by not for profit organizations in the Charlottesville area. Please see our Events & PSA Submission page for more information and use the form on that page for consideration! That link is also posted under the ‘Events’ tab located at the top of every page of our website.
Thanks for your interest from the 97.9 WREN crew!