State Sponsored Media?

Speaking of the tools and mechanisms of oppression, have any of you noticed how many government or Ad Council ads there are on AM radio lately?  We’re being told where to find out how to raise our kids, fasten their car seats, talk to kids about drugs, notice the signs of a stroke (call 911) quit smoking, and ZOMG– be afraid of your food!  In the 20 minutes or so I listened to KMAX this morning, there were two or three government ads to one commercial ad.

Now; I haven’t looked into who runs the Ad Council or where its funding comes from, and I don’t know how many of the government ads are actually paid for as opposed to being forced as “public service announcements” but it’s looking more and more like there is already a mechanism in place to further control radio stations– threaten to their pull ads, which are becoming a majority of the ads on the air.

I thought y’all might want to look into this, as there has been “chatter” for years about how to clamp down on talk radio and yet no one is talking about the recent uptick in Big Brother ads.  I smell “Hope and Change” in this.


10 thoughts on “State Sponsored Media?

  1. I share your concerns, but I see this as being more due to the fact that radio, like newspapers, is a dying medium. As fewer people listen to traditional radio, as opposed to the various digital and satellite variants, advertisers are finding it less cost-effective to continue to advertise there (many of those that are left are the audio tracks from TV commercials & many rely on sight gags to be funny). What’s left to fill the commercial airspace is the various bits of government propaganda, hence the result you describe.

  2. I was under the impression public service ads were run gratis by the radio stations as a requirement of their operating licenses. In my youth, I recall seeing many more ads run in the 3:00am to 5:00am time slot rather than drive time hours. Perhaps the current high levels of such ads in more desirable hours are due to limited commercial buys by business, leaving room for either dead air or public service ads where we notice them more.

  3. Yes; running PSAs is part of the licensing requirements, but it was my understanding that public service announcements were always identified as such. These recent ads aren’t identified as PSAs.

    First; spectrum should be private property, just like real estate. The Homestead Act is your basic model there. Instead it is treated as government property and licensed out. Since that gigantic breech of liberty, there has been a cascade of others, one upon the back of another.

    Since when, in the event a business is losing revenue (and I have my doubts regarding that assumption here) does the federal government step in and start buying up the product to make up the difference? When it wants control of the product. That’s when. And only then.

    So I say it doesn’t matter whether radio stations are losing commercial ad business. It seems that the .gov now owns a bigger piece of them, which is of course the point.

    In a free society, the radio stations (again, assuming they’re hurting for business) would drop their prices to attract more business, work on getting more interesting programming, and/or find some other use for the spectrum, but when it comes to radio this is anything but a free society.

  4. I watch Fox & Friends when I get up early in the morning. Their ad slots are filled with the TV versions of public service announcements. “Just Keep Shaving My Back” is just one creepy example. It’s a jobs program for filmmakers and bureaucrats, is what it is. I wonder what the annual budget for all the spots is?

  5. As the leading producer of public service advertisments (PSAs) since 1942, the Ad Council has been addressing critical social issues for generations of Americans

    There you go. The Ad Council is a WWII era propaganda outfit.

    The Advertising Council, commonly known as the Ad Council, is an American non-profit organization that distributes public service announcements on behalf of various sponsors, including non-profit organizations and agencies of the United States government

    The Advertising Council generally does not produce public service advertisements itself, rather, it acts as a coordinator and distributor. The Advertising Council accepts requests from sponsor organizations for advertising campaigns that focus on particular social issues. To qualify, an issue must be non-partisan (though not necessarily unbiased) and have national relevance. The Advertising Council then assigns each campaign to a volunteer advertising agency that produces the actual advertisements. Finally, the Advertising Council distributes the finished advertisements to media outlets.

    The Advertising Council, commonly known as the Ad Council, is an American non-profit organization that distributes public service announcements on behalf of various sponsors, including non-profit organizations and agencies of the United States government.


    The Advertising Council was conceived in 1941, and shortly after, in February 1942, it was incorporated as The War Advertising Council for the purpose of mobilizing the advertising industry in support of the war effort. Early campaigns encouraged the purchase of war bonds and conservation of war materials.

    After the conclusion of the Second World War the War Advertising Council changed its name to the Advertising Council and shifted its focus to peacetime campaigns. In 1945, the Ad Council began working with the National Safety Council

    The former “War Advertising Council” came up with Rosie the Riveter, Smokey the Bear, etc etc etc etc etc. Is it any surprise that the amount of propaganda is on the increase?

  6. Proving once again;
    “The closest thing to eternal life to be found on Earth, is a government program.” (or something like that) — Ronald Reagan. Its mission no longer needed? Makes no sense any more? Keep the agency, change the mission and increase the budget. That’s how we got the BATF too.

    Not all these .gov ads are from the Ad Council though. Nowhere near all.

  7. PSAs in excess of the bare minimum required to have enough Public Service hours are usually running as “filler” when the station can’t sell the time. There is no compensation for running extra PSAs

    It’s not so much The Government as it is The Economy — that would be the economy the government is busy meddling into the deep, deep red.

  8. I agree with Publius and Roberta X, they’re filler. I believe something similar is happening on tv when you see an advertisement that doesn’t run all the way thru. I don’t think the advertiser has to pay for ads that don’t run completely. It’s just the station filling time that they couldn’t sell. If it’s true then it’s another interesting insight into how the economy’s doing.

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