Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Must Radio Stations Sell Political Rates to Local Candidates?

With political dollars scarce in most campaigns, especially local races, cost nest egg is important. The most common inquiry I have got got been asked over the past twenty old age of working on political advertisement is: "Must a radiocommunication station sell the Political Rates to local candidates?"

The Federal Soldier Soldier Soldier Elections Committee (FEC) and the Federal Communications Committee (FCC), along with Congress, have required radiocommunication stations operating in the United States to supply airtime at low rates (Political Rates) to campaigners running in Federal elections. Specifically, stations may not complaint a campaigner more than the last terms they charged a client for a topographic point during a given clip slot. For example, if the last amount any advertizer on a given station paid for a 30-second morning topographic point during the former twelvemonth is $50, then the station can not inquire a campaigner for more than than $50 for a 30-second morning spot. This charge per unit is typically offered 60 years before an election.

The workings consequence this have on radiocommunication stations can be horrific: Last minute big buys, finding adequate air time, preventing different campaigners from running endorse to back. The underside line is that station gross is decreased by merchandising prime-time air at reduced rates. This is compounded by the fact that many political commercial messages are poorly written, giving the audience ground to turn the radiocommunication off. Radio stations make not like the political season as a general rule. But no matter, the FCC and FEC are on the campaign's side!

It have been my experience that local political campaigns can leverage the powerfulness of the FCC to their advantage as well. True, the law is specific to Federal Soldier candidates, but the illation of the ordinances can be argued to use to all. Radio stations, when presented with choosing between air clip for local campaigners at Political Rates or an unfastened missive to the FCC and FEC from the campaigner and tons of supporters, usually profess the less rates. All letters to a radiocommunication station must stay in the public file. This data file is reviewed when a station licence is renewed by the FCC.

When I contact a radiocommunication station, I inquire for Political Rates. I presume my campaigner will pay this charge per unit regardless of the degree (Federal, statewide or local). I have got never had an issue. If I were to meet resistance, I would affect upon the gross sales representative that the candidate's money will be going to other stations and mass media outlets. The competitory marketplace will make its job.

No comments: