Illinois Public Media Underwriting/Advertising Copy Guidelines

 

As a public radio and TV station, WILL-AM/FM &WILL-TV are bound by FCC guidelines for underwriting announcements. These rules serve our sponsors well as they provide for language that WILL-AM/FM &TV listeners and viewers prefer to hear and will respond to more readily than language that is commercial in nature. These guidelines will help our corporate sponsors engage with the WILL-AM/FM & TV audiences most effectively.

General Guidelines

Length: WILL underwriting announcements are all 15-20 seconds in length, which includes the standard opening line, “WILL thanks [BUSINESS] for their support.”

Content: Underwriting announcements are objective, direct, and clearly identify the following:

1.  The name of the underwriter/sponsor.

2.  The mission, business, or event hosted by the underwriter.

3.  A means to contact the underwriter/sponsor.

Deadlines: Please allow one week for production of announcements.

What to Include

●   Name of the organization paying for the schedule

●   Description of products or services offered including brands or trade names

●   Date and time of event

●   Length of time in business

●   Established slogan or tagline

●   Telephone number or URL

What Not to Include

1.  Comparative, qualitative, or overtly promotional language

2.  Price or value information

3.  Inducement to buy, sell, rent, lease, borrow, or loan

4.  Third-party endorsements

5.  Calls to action

6.  First- or second-person language that implies station endorsement (you, we, us, I).

Underwriting Language Examples

1. Comparative language                 

Permitted: “Serving 50 cities in the Western United States.”

Not permitted: “Serving more cities than any other airline.”

2. Qualitative Language

Permitted: “With twenty locations throughout the Puget Sound.”

Not permitted: “With twenty convenient locations.”

3. Pricing Information

Permitted: “Information on rates is available online at bank dot com.”

Not permitted: “3.7% interest rate now available.”

4. Calls to Action

Permitted: “More information available at [NUMBER].”

Not permitted: “Call us at [NUMBER] for more information.”

5. Inducements to Buy, Sell, Rent, or Lease

Permitted: “Tickets go on sale this Friday.”

Not permitted: “First 100 tickets are discounted.”        

Sample Message

SUPPORT FROM ANYTOWN THEATER GROUP PRESENTING THE SESSION EUROPA. THE SEASON STARTS IN SEPTEMBER AND INCLUDES SIX PLAYS. INFO AT ANYTOWN THEATER GROUP DOT ORG.

Additional Underwriting Policies

  • The stations cannot accept political advertising or any secondary political advertising. Illinois Public Media considers secondary political advertising as: underwriting messages from businesses owned by a candidate and messages from businesses or individuals supporting and/or endorsing a candidate.”

    • Underwriting from businesses owned by a candidates are permitted more than 90 days before an election. 

    • Underwriters who become candidates are asked to contact WILL so announcements can be removed from our schedule.

  • The stations cannot accept corporate sponsorships which promote the use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or firearms.

  • All announcements are produced in-house by WILL staff.