RAB Political Advertising HHandbook provides critical insights on how to work with campaigns without breaking laws and regulations regarding political ads

In collaboration with the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), law firm Garvey Schubert Barer has authored the 2017/2018 version of RAB’s Political Advertising: A Guide for the Radio Account Executive.  The handbook, available to RAB members, educates radio executives on how to stay in compliance with the law when it comes to political advertisements and provides an overview of the essential concepts of political advertising and key regulations affecting legal compliance. The handbook and a supplemental FAQ can be can be viewed on RAB’s website: http://www.rab.com/public/political/political.cfm.

The guidebook has been drafted by three attorneys with deep experience in broadcasting, political campaigns and the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Erwin Krasnow, a partner at Garvey Schubert Barer, is former general counsel of the National Association of Broadcasters. Brad Deutsch, a partner at Garvey Schubert Barer, is a former chief of staff to FEC Commissioner Steven T. Walther and also General Counsel to the 2016 Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. John King, of the law offices of John W. King, is former editor of the Federal Communications Bar Journal.

"The adage that political advertising is only an ‘even-year’ issue is a myth thanks to the Citizens United decision which unleashed a tsunami of money for advocacy and campaign advertising," said Krasnow. "While this round-the-clock political advertising may be great for radio stations’ bottom lines, they now need to have greater awareness of the rules to stay in compliance.”

The guide provides an easy to navigate structure, directing readers with varying levels of expertise to relevant portions of law. It has sections relevant to individuals new to the field; individuals who need to ‘review and evaluate’; to experienced readers; and to broadcasters who have received a request for time.

“Today’s radio stations are multi-media organizations, including spectrum, but also web, email and digital platforms,” said Deutsch.  “While the FCC regulates the airwaves, the FEC regulates social and digital media – and therein lies the rub. What passes muster with one doesn’t necessarily pass with the other. The potential for non-compliance is huge.”

While broadcasters will find the document most consistently useful, the guide is also a key resource for media covering political campaigns, providing a reference guide on disputes about advertisements involving the FCC and FEC.