Non-Commercial Radio Underwriting Announcements

The Communications Act and FCC regulations allow non-commercial radio and television stations to acknowledge contributions on the air in the form of underwriting announcements. These announcements may not promote the sale of goods and services for for-profit entities, and must not interrupt regular programming.

These announcements may be made for identification purposes only, and must not promote the contributor’s products, services or company. Therefore an underwriting credit may not contain:

  1. Comparative or qualitative descriptions
  2. Price information
  3. Calls to action
  4. Inducements to buy, sell, rent or lease

FCC guidelines do permit underwriting announcements to include:

  1. Logograms or slogans that identify and do not promote
  2. Location information (including street address or general area)
  3. Value neutral descriptions of a product line or service
  4. Brand and trade names and product or service listings

Radio Underwriting credits are up to 20 seconds in length. Music and sound effects may not be used in radio underwriting credits. A telephone number OR a web address may be mentioned once in a credit. Numbers and addresses may not spell out a call to action such as 1-800-CALL-NOW, or a qualitative claim such as

The FCC has provided several examples of announcements that violate the regulations:

  1. Announcements that contain price, savings or value information are not permitted. An
  2. example is “7.7 percent interest rate now available.”
  3. Announcements containing calls to action or not permitted. An example is “Stop by our
  4. showroom to see a car.”
  5. Announcements containing any inducement to buy, sell, rent or lease are not
  6. permitted. An example is “Six months free service.”

Sample Copy:

"Support for this program comes from West Lake Conservators, specializing in the conservation of paintings, frames, textiles, photographs and paper. Preserving family and public collections for more than 30 years… protecting tomorrow’s treasures, today. West-Lake-Conservators-dot-com"

"Support for this program comes from One World Goods, a fair trade gift shop in Pittsford Plaza that has hand crafted seasonal items from artisans around the world. Purchases provide income for our global neighbors. One World Goods, the gift that gives twice."