What are fcc guidelines regarding underwriting credits on public television

Guidelines for Underwriting Credits
The FCC requires that all underwriters must be identified by their name and/or tagline. An underwriter MAY NOT be anonymous.   From the FCC’s standpoint, the purpose served by underwriting credits is to identify the funder in the interests of full disclosure, not to promote the funder or its products and services. In the late 80s, the FCC relaxed its noncommercial policy to allow public broadcasters to expand or “enhance” the scope of donor and underwriter acknowledgements to include 1) logograms or slogans which identify and do not promote, 2) location information, 3) value neutral descriptions of a product line or service and, 4) brand and trade names and product or service listings.   In the past the FCC has indicated that it wil rely on the good faith determinations of public broadcasters in interpreting the FCC’s no commercialization guidelines   What underwriting copy is acceptable to the FCC?
The following types of identifying information are acceptable according to FCC statements concerning enhanced underwriting announcements: Value neutral descriptions of a product line or service Brand and trade names and product or service listings Visual descriptions of specific products Location information, including telephone numbers and Web addresses Logograms or slogans which identify and do not promote   While the FCC has determined that underwriting credits may include this identifying information in addition to the underwriter’s name, the FCC has indicated that public broadcaster’s good faith judgment must be the key element in meeting Congress’ determination that the serve should remain free of commercial and commercial-like   What underwriting copy is unacceptable to the FCC?
FCC policy statements, rulings, advisory opinions, and letters applying its rules and policies to specific underwriting announcements (credits) have cautioned against the use of certain types of language, phrases, and visuals, such as the following, which it deems promotional: Calls to action (“Come in today and take a test drive”) Superlative description or qualitative claim about the company, it’s products, or its services (“The best service in the industry” or “The most intelligent car ever built”) Direct comparison with other companies, their products or services Price or value information (“7.7% interest rate available now” and “affordable,” Inducements to buy, sell, rent, or lease (“Six months free service when you buy” or “lifetime guarantee”) Endorsements (“recommended by 4 out of 5 doctors”)   Some of the words and phrases that the FCC has found unacceptably promotional The FCC has also advised that credits may be considered promotional even if they include statements of fact or longstanding slogans. For example, a business that is the “award-winning” retailer of a product in the area should not include that information in their underwriting credit, even if it is true and serves to identify the retailer, because the statement is promotional in nature.   What are some other factors to consider concerning underwriting credits?
The public broadcasting system has concerns that go beyond matters addressed by the FCC. These include, for example, avoiding clutter, encouraging a consistent on-air “look” for station programming, and generally protecting the noncommercial character   What are the Station’s Underwriting Guidelines?
Our guidelines are derived from federal requirements regarding the difference between an acceptable underwriting message and an “advertisement,” which is prohibited. In addition to addressing the content of underwriting messages, they also deal with whether a potential funder is appropriate in a given circumstance, or in any circumstance.   Our Guidelines rest on three fundamental principles:   Journalistic Integrity: Public radio is a major participant in the great tradition of a free and independent American press. Therefore, public radio must protect its journalistic integrity and it must reinforce the accurate perception that it is a free and independent institution. Noncommercial Nature: Public radio's nonprofit, noncommercial status contributes to its independence and public radio also enjoys certain financial and other benefits by virtue of its noncommercial, nonprofit status. Therefore, its noncommercial character must be preserved. Diversity of Funding: The diversity of program funding sources is a key element in the preservation of a free and independent public radio system. Station management wil examine the funder and the program to ensure that the • Editorial Control Test: Has the funder exercised editorial control? Could it? Perception Test: Might the public perceive that the underwriter has exercised Commercialism Test: Might the public conclude the program is on public television principally because it promotes the underwriter’s products, services or other business interests?   Only after a funder has been determined acceptable does the station evaluate the proposed on-air credit for suitability under the Guidelines and pursuant the legal   The FCC has highlighted the following as unacceptable:   Any price information, even the word “free,” must be avoided. So, no straight-out mentions of price (“membership fee of $49.99 a month”), no implied mentions of price (“for less than the cost of a daily cup of coffee”), no sales or price events (“only $25 today,” “grand opening specials,” “ladies’ night”), no general price claims (“lowest prices this side of the Mississippi”), no incentives based on price or payment options (“we collect no fee until we win your case”), and no interest rates (“7.7% Phrasing which urges the viewer or listener to interact with the underwriter or its products (“cal for more information,” “take a test drive to learn more”), or to take further steps in the direction of a purchase (“ask your doctor about Zithromax”), are not allowed. At times, language conveying a sense of urgency or intended to create alarm, has also come under FCC scrutiny in this category (“how will your family survive if you have no life insurance?”) when it seems the unstated message is, “You’d better do something about it, soon!” 3. Qualitative or comparative claims. Superlatives and other such rankings must be avoided. A company may not be described as “one of the largest” or a product as “the most advanced,” even when demonstrably true. Awards which in essence make qualitative, superlative, or comparative statements, are also unacceptable (“voted #1 in customer satisfaction for the third year in a row,” or “Winner of the JD Powers Award”). Comparisons to a competitor’s products or services are clearly off limits (“when a Cadillac just isn’t good enough”), and comparisons to previous versions of a product are risky (“new and improved”). Examples of descriptions the FCC has cited as unacceptable, in context: “We feature new and used cars and excel ent service.” “A leading provider of credit and other business services.” “Providing quick long distance telephone connections and clear sound.” 4. Inducements to buy, sell, rent or lease. This category seems to be the catch-all for when the others don’t quite fit, so it’s a bit tricky to define. Here are the examples the FCC provides: “Six months’ free service,” “a bonus available this week,” “special gift for the first 50 visitors.” Because the first example already contains the word “free,” you would expect that to be a problem under price information. The other two examples seem to urge quick action because of “limited-time only” offers. This may well be a sub-category under “inducement” but hasn’t clearly been singled out by the FCC in any enforcement actions. However, PBS takes the position that this is a category with its own distinct promotional elements and therefore should be avoided. For example, an official-sounding endorsement by a group of professionals (“recommended by 4 out of 5 dentists”), or a vignette featuring satisfied customers who describe their good experience with the underwriter’s products or services, would be promotional. This category would also cover the video technique – which has been the specific subject of enforcement actions – wherein happy, satisfied customers are depicted using the product, usual y to a degree seen as excessive
within the context of the message.
Can we use a company slogan or tagline?
That depends on what it says, and in some cases, how long it’s been in use. Our rule of thumb based on FCC actions is that a slogan that has been “established” as part of a funder’s identity over a period of extensive use (for two years or more), can be considered for air even if, literal y, it seems promotional. This is no blanket acceptance but it moves us a bit closer, since the FCC Enforcement Bureau’s precedents allow more flexibility in such situations. This does NOT mean that a “new” slogan is automatically unacceptable. If the slogan makes a statement that is otherwise acceptable as value-neutral information to identify the funder, it doesn’t matter how long it’s been in use. As an example, Nike’s slogan, “Just Do It,” usual y refers to engaging in athletic activities, and does not proclaim that its products are superior to others. Thus, even were it not a slogan of long-time use, in the proper context we find it acceptable for broadcast. Note also that even though this slogan is in grammatical structure a “call to action,” it does not urge purchase of a product or anything similarly promotional. Can phone numbers or Web addresses be included?
The FCC has indicated that location information, including phone numbers and Web addresses, are acceptable to identify an underwriter. However, regardless of the way a phone number and Web site is represented, listeners cannot be urged to cal or visit, and we do not allow these numbers to spel out something that is not acceptable to say otherwise, e.g., 1-800- THEBEST. What about nonprofit underwriters? Do all the same rules apply?
The federal statute governing noncommercial broadcasts, does make a distinction, and some stations rely on the legal definition of “advertisement,” as noted above, to allow more flexibility for nonprofit underwriting messages -- as long as that message is not in support of an issue or political candidate. In addition, FCC policy prohibits public radio stations from fundraising on behalf of nonprofits or other entities when it involves the suspension of regular programming. (e.g., charity telethons). The general idea is that, when public broadcasters suspend regular programming to appeal to the public for money, it has to be for the benefit of the station itself, as in the usual pledge or auction programming. The FCC has granted waivers only in limited and extraordinary circumstances.

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Title: Impact of a new electronic handover system in surgeryAuthors: S. Ryan, J.M. O'riordan, S. Tierney, K.C. Conlon, P.F. RidgwayReceived Date: 9 June 2010Revised Date: 29 October 2010Accepted Date: 23 November 2010Please cite this article as: Ryan S, O'riordan JM, Tierney S, Conlon KC, Ridgway PF. Impact of anew electronic handover system in surgery, International Journal of Surgery (2010

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