Retrieved from NPR.org Nov. 25, 2012
Underwriting credits acknowledge organizations which fund public radio programming. Federal law mandates this identification and further allows for the non promotional description of the sponsors products and services. The following guidelines assist NPR and its underwriters in developing credit language that complies with FCC and IRS regulations for non-commercial broadcasters.NPR underwriting credits must contain:
The legal name of the underwriter, to be read immediately after the standard opening phrase, “Support for NPR comes from NPR member stations and…
Credits may also include the following:
Non-promotional, value-neutral, descriptions of organization, products and services. Names of operating divisions and subsidiaries.
Undated document supplied by NPR, January 2000. No Commercial Obligations or Influence
NPR is an independent, nonprofit organization that carries no on-air advertising. One of the ways NPR helps fund its programming and general operations is by seeking underwriting support from corporations, foundations and associations. These tax-deductible donations provide virtually all of NPR’s contributed income. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations govern all underwriting announcements by NPR and public radio stations.
WTTW and PBS say they’re baffled by the FCC’s proposal to fine the Chicago station $5,000 for airing four underwriting spots, including one that aired nationally on Wall Street Week. The commission sent a “notice of apparent liability” to WTTW [text of notice] earlier this month, saying that spots aired in November 1996 for Zenith, Amoco, Prudential Securities and Sun America insurance violate FCC rules against advertisements for for-profit companies. Under the rules, public broadcasters can air credits for corporate underwriting but only for the purpose of identifying backers. The credits are not supposed to promote their businesses. Specifically off-limits are comparative and qualitative descriptions, price information, calls to action and inducements to buy.