The Radio Dealer, July, 1922, page 84:
Explains Broadcasting of Advertising Programs
THE RADIO DEALER,
New York City.
Your letter asking certain questions in regard to radio broadcasting has just come to my attention and I welcome the opportunity to tell the story of broadcasting as we see it.
Coincident with the wave of popular interest in radio broadcasting which has recently swept over the country, the American Telephone & Telegraph Company and its subsidiary the Western Electric Company received a very large number of requests from various business houses for the sale, to them, of private radio broadcasting equipment. The number of requests coming from business houses in New York City alone numbered more than sixty. Taking account of the well-known limitations of the ether for the transmission of simultaneous messages it became apparent that the proper means of satisfying the demand for broadcasting facilities was not to install private broadcasting stations, as these would be so numerous in the large cities that the resulting interference would entirely preclude the obtaining of satisfactory results by the owners of any of these stations. A survey of the situation indicated that the only possible policy would involve the erection, at proper intervals, of a central broadcasting station whose facilities might be leased by any business house for such periods as it might desire to broadcast programs.
The American Telephone & Telegraph Company is erecting such a public broadcasting station and, as has already been announced, it will broadcast no programs of its own but will simply radiate those supplied by the business houses which become its patrons. It is not anticipated that any rigid censorship will be required of the programs submitted for broadcasting through this station, as the natural inference is that business houses hiring the station would submit only such programs as would attract and merit the attention of the radio listener. However, experience alone will provide the basis upon which a definite policy governing the operating of the station can be formulated. For this reason and until such a policy is forthcoming it is proposed to call the station an " experimental public broadcasting station."
You furthermore ask the question as to whether we will broadcast advertising. Before this question can be answered some common understanding as to what constitutes advertising must be arrived at. Looked at from the broadest point of view all of the radio broadcasting which has thus far been done is nothing more than advertising. Its propose is to either stimulate the sale of radio equipment or to focus attention on some other proposition. If the word " advertising " is interpreted in this sense it seems likely that radio broadcasting must invariably be of an advertising nature.
However, in any discussion of broadcasting advertisements it is well to bear in mind one fundamental principle. When this is done, the fear which is sometimes expressed that advertising will destroy broadcasting is seen to be without foundation. Radio advertising, like all other forms, must be of such a character as to make a favorable impression upon the public, and it is quite incredible that any business firm would jeopardize its reputation and potential market by attempting to broadcast material which experience proved would not meet with a favorable reception.
Trusting that the above comments will be of interest to you, I am
|Yours very truly, |
|Publicity Dept. |
|J. H. ELLSWORTH. |