Will Ads go too far?

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theshark
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:05 pm

Will Ads go too far?

Post by theshark » Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:07 pm

March 20, 2010

Recently the Supreme Court overturned a corporate advertising ban which appears to be already opening the floodgates of misleading messages.

Unions, lobbyist, associations and corporations will in coming months be pouring millions of dollars into the advertising world...hooray for radio & TV...right?

I’m concerned.

Soon we’ll hear ads from the NRA in support of a candidate who is in fact in favor of gun control. We’ll hear from “family groups” that say ALL marriage is okay. In short, ads that go way to the left and to the right and may offend our listeners.

Recently an ad ran on our stations that listeners, co-workers and family members referred to as “false advertising”. I thought, “wow, haven’t heard that in a while” and I’m concerned we’ll hear that from listeners more often.

With the recent Supreme Court decision, it appears anyone can say anything now...should we let them?

yourdigitalwiz
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:49 am

Re: Will Ads go too far?

Post by yourdigitalwiz » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:43 am

Equality is a question of fairness. I like that you are concerned especially since the message is coming from your station and it is implied that you have cleared the message for air.

Short of running disclaimers on every spot, I suggest you consider drafting a standards and practices document that will apply to all advertisers (so this applies equally there can be no claim of discrimination). Have your advertisers sign that document with each buy and post it on your station's web site for all to see, with a disclaimer should anything slip through the cracks.

Use this issue on air to sample your listeners and get their feed back in what limits should apply. As you know, censorship was defined by the Supreme Court as being community based. If your community has input, you are protected from imposing limits.

In the days of heavy censorship, this filtering prior to air was the norm. Now we have no apparent limits and no guidelines. Since a station is privately owned, it can create the rules for doing business. That will add value in the long. Without it you must prepare to suffer the consequences for being stained by the bad content (lose audience). So long as your rules apply to everyone, there should be no issues (check with your attorney to be certain).

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