Radio: being free without sounding cheap

Radio_2 Regular old radio has been on the offense over the past year, fighting the satellite broadcasters with the message that some things still should be free—as opposed to commercial free, apparently. Check out some of free radio’s ads here. The campaign has been backed, according to Orbitcast, by $28 million from the National Association of Broadcasters. But as Orbitcast bloggers point out, sometimes “free” versus “pay” can have a “you get what you pay for” connotation. Certainly the free radio campaign’s “You shouldn’t have to pay for it” tagline could be interpreted that way. The spots interrupt “good” radio with the voice of a telephone operator asking listeners to please deposit more money to continue. But isn’t suffering through ads from Sit ’n’ Sleep, California Basket Co., Mike Diamond Plumbing and the latest orange-oil-wielding termite ridders itself a subtle if not brutal form of payment? (Photo by Photolife/Flickr.)

—Posted Gregory Solman

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