In an ongoing campaign to stop PR companies and charities taking advantage of Community Service Announcement spots instead of paying for airtime, Lee Hubber has written to community broadcasters suggesting a tightening of station policy on CSAs.
Earlier this year Hubber, the Director of media rep company Spots & Space consulted widely about policies for the free broadcast of community service announcements and found that some stations are being taken advantage of.
He has recommended action “to discourage potential advertisers from dressing up their advertising campaign as a CSA” and to encourage them to “fund a booking on your station.”
“By the time you have received a request to broadcast a CSA, that organisation has already decided not to pay for your airtime,” he says in a letter to stations this week.
The letter contains a questionnaire aimed to make those who request CSAs think about what they are asking for, and to help station management judge whether the spot deserves free airtime. “If enough stations do this, non-eligible organisations might re-think their strategy before they have decided to ask for your donation,” he says.
The campaign encourages stations to ask those who request CSA spots to “disclose funding information.”
It also suggests that “any approach for a donation of airtime for a community service announcement be rejected if any other media organisation is paid to publish or broadcast that campaign.”