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Announcing underwriting on a non-commercial station

June 11, 2008

If you work for a non-commercial college station, follow these simple tips for your underwriting so that it stays “underwriting,” which is allowed, and doesn’t move into the realm of “advertising,” which is not allowed:

1. No calls to action, such as “Go pick up this book.”
2. No qualitative or comparative language, such as “This is the best book on gospel music.”
3. No language encouraging buying, selling, renting, leasing, etc.
4. No price information.

There are more complicated ways to think about this, but as long as you follow these four rules, you’ll be safe in nearly all situations.

Sincere credit right here to Bill Keith, adviser to WSDP, the student-operated radio station owned by the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park in Canton, Michigan.

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