Can cash prizes be mentioned in an underwriting announcement?
Q. There’s an art festival in town that wants to be an underwriter. They’ve asked for their messages to be about 2 contests (based on skill–not lotteries) that take place at the festival. They want to say “winners get cash.” Can the announcements be worded that way?
A. No. The mention of a cash prize is promotional.
The FCC has identified several specific types of impermissible promotional announcements, including those containing: Inducements to buy, sell, rent, or lease a product or utilize a service violate the rules.
Examples include [Public Notice FCC 86-161, 7 FCC Rec. 827, (1986)]:
- “Six months of free service.”
- “A bonus available this week.”
- “Special gift for the first 50 visitors.”
This information is taken from NFCB’s Public Radio Legal Handbook