There has been various discussions talking place here in the UK over disclaimers and terms and conditions in radio advertising.

There’s a good chat about this half way through a recent Earshot Creative Review podcast.

Commercial radio trade body Radio Centre have been lobbying for a revision on rules about this.

In what started as a totally unrelated activity I came across this advert from Portsmouth based radio station Power FM in 1998 (trivia fans it was the first advert played on said station on launch day 4th December 1988).


You need to bear in mind that this was the late 80s and obviously in many ways this spot is very much of its time, especially the top half rap.
What stuck out to me was the incorporation of relevant disclaimers lines such as

“authorised representatives of Legal and General”


“subject to status”

that are embedded into the main body of the script. Not only does this flow better than being tagged on the end as the thing “we must tell you”, it actually serves in some ways to reinforce the credentials of the advertiser. Though we do seem to have escaped the “your home may be at risk” line.

I also like this advert as it has got a nice and clear one call to action,

Dial 100 and ask for Free Fone Ferrari Mortgages

Some of today’s cram as many phone numbers and website addresses as possible brigade could learn from this.

Readers of a more tender age may not recall British Telecom’s Free Fone offering, yes their trade name for the service was spelt that way. It started as a precursor to the “0800” toll-free numbers we’re familiar with today and date from the age of mechanical telephone exchanges. Even after the introduction of 0800 numbers in 1986, the older style connect via the operator Free Fone service continued to be offered for several years. This is quite good for use in advertisements, I’m certainly going to remember “Free Fone Ferrari” easier than 0800 blah blah blah. I guess the modern day equivalent would be to say “Search for Ferrari Mortgages”.

Incidentally this recording is lifted from a tape of the launch of Power FM in the “Southern ILR Archive”, which contains “approximately 1300 individual programmes, is a unique opportunity to listen again to programmes that were deposited with the Wessex Film and Sound Archive (WFSA) at the Hampshire Record Office in Winchester by independent local radio stations (ILRs) in the Central Southern (Dorset, Hampshire and Berkshire) area.” Should you work or study in the UK FE or HE sector you most likely will have access to this archive hosted by the British Universities Film and Video Council via your institutions library service and is a most interesting resource for anyone researching the history of radio broadcasting.

Photo Credits: Phone Boxes by Renato Morbach