On KNPB Channel 5, underwriting credits consist of 10- or 15-second messages attached to a specific television program. A maximum of two local underwriting positions are available per program. Underwriting is especially effective for companies seeking to build their brand and a relationship with their particular target audience.
What we can do?
In addition to allowing a funder to display toll-free number or website or email address, the following types of additional identifying information are acceptable for underwriting credits in accordance with the FCC:
• Value neutral descriptions of a product line or service
• Brand and trade names and product or service listings
• Visual depictions of specific products
• Location information, including telephone numbers and Web addresses
• Logograms or slogans which identify and do not promote
KNPB Program Sponsors receive a 15 or 30-second visual and aural credit at the beginning and end of each program they underwrite.
• Can you show products? YES!
• Can you use slogans and mascots? YES!
• How about telephone numbers? YES!
• Addresses? YES!
• The production of your credit, to be approved by you, is FREE!
When we promote our program on television, radio and newspaper, your company will be mentioned as a Program Sponsor. Your company will also be listed in the KNPB viewer guide — read by more than 7,000 subscribers monthly and available for download online — and your company will be invited to volunteer for on-air fundraisers. Bring a banner, wear your company T-shirts and hats, and help Public TV!
Overall Appearance and Effect of Credits:
The on-air appearance and overall effect of each credit and credit sequence must be in keeping with the noncommercial nature of public television.
FCC Requirements: 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. At the same time, however, the FCC has indicated that it will rely on the good faith determinations of public broadcasters in interpreting the FCC's noncommercialization guidelines.
What we can't do?
Besides identifying the funder clearly by name and/or logo, a credit may contain additional information in audio, video, or both, to help identify a funder. Any language that is gratuitously or blatantly promotional is not acceptable. In addition, information that would appear to be self-congratulatory or that could be construed as an advocacy position on a particular issue or subject will not be acceptable.
FCC policy statements, rulings, advisory opinions and letters applying its rules and policies to specific underwriting announcements have cautioned against the use of certain types of language, phrases, and visuals, such as the following, which it deems promotional:
• Call to action (e.g., "come in today and take a test drive");
• Superlative description or qualitative claim about the company, its products, or its services (e.g., "the most intelligent car ever built")
• Direct comparison with other companies, or with other companies' products or services
• Price or value information (e.g., "only $160 down and $160 per month," or "7.7% interest rate available now," "affordable," "discount," or "free")
• Inducements to buy, sell, rent, or lease (e.g., "six months' free service when you buy," or "guaranteed for life")
• Endorsements (e.g., "recommended by 4 out of 5 doctors for headache pain")
• Demonstrations of consumer satisfaction
Some of the words and phrases that the FCC has found unacceptably promotional include: Efficient, Economical, Dependable, Dedicated, Prompt, Fair price, Reliable, Excellent, Leading, Luxury, Quick and clear, Very accommodating, Delightfully honest, Quality Number One.
The context in which the word or phrase appears must always be taken into account and a separate judgment must be made for each credit. The line separating permissible from impermissible, in wording and visuals, is not always a bright one.
Contact our the KNPB Corporate Support team for more information on current rates: