TV Guidelines


On WXXI Public Television underwriting announcements (also called underwriting credits) thank and identify our underwriters. Unlike commercial television stations, there is no advertising clutter on WXXI stations. Underwriting messages are crafted to suit marketing and public relations needs with straight-forward information.

There is ample room for creativity and style. Many companies run their existing spots on our air. Others find that small changes in the voiceover message are all it takes for a spot to fit within our non-promotional environment.  If there is no existing credit, WXXI’s creative services department will produce a spot with a company logo, up to three value-neutral images, and an announcer-read voiceover message.  For anything more complicated, a fee will be assessed.

All spots are 15-seconds in length (32-35 words).  The fixed station preamble is not included in the word count.

 What is allowed on WXXI:

  • Identification and depiction of the underwriter including: location, product name, corporate mission and description of services;
  • Visuals of a corporate phone number and Web site address in the last five seconds (they are not read in the voiceover copy). Numerical toll-free phone numbers may be used;
  • Event dates and locations;
  • Well-established slogan or corporate positioning statement;
  • Music identifying the company, people, and other voiceovers. (Rights to music must be cleared first by client or agency);
  • Association between the company and the program (“…ABC Company, proud sponsor of…”).

What is not allowed on WXXI:

  • Comparative statements (e.g. the best…, larger…, faster…);
  • Qualitative statements, which involve subjective evaluation of quality (e.g. fine, great, rich, superb, leading, reliable, excellent, economical);
  • Price discount or financing information (including "free");
  • Call-to-action statements which direct the audience: to call, to visit, to try, to compare;
  • Inducements to buy, sell, rent, or lease statements, which direct the audience to purchase the product (e.g. free trial period, 2 for 1);
  • Endorsements;
  • Fundraising messages for non-profit organizations.



The FCC requires that PBS take particular care with the promotion of sponsors of Children's programs. Along with WXXI’s standard guidelines the following applies:


What is allowed on WXXI:

  • Product can be identified in audio and video. However, video is prohibited on products targeted to children (toys, games, foods packaged for children);
  • Description of a business (makers of...);
  • Use of a corporate logo;
  • Use of music (no product jingles) and animation;
  • Inclusion of a message of support for public television or one that promotes learning, nutrition or healthy lifestyles;
  • Use of slogans with the exception of language that is particularly geared to children or is qualitative in nature.

What is not allowed on WXXI:

  • Inclusion of  “spokes characters” or mascots (no host selling);
  • Use of toll-free phone numbers;
  • Depiction of product in use or in motion.

Sample Underwriting Spots