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Madison Avenue and the U. S. Army: An Analysis of the Use of Broadcast Announcements, Paid or Free, to Recruit U. S. Army Personnel
[Technical Report, Research Paper]
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
In the spring of 1971, the U.S. Army turned for the first time to the use of paid announcements on commercial radio and television in its effort to recruit for a modern volunteer army MVA. Congressional leaders questioned the use of public funds for this purpose, proposing that broadcast stations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to use the public airwaves should be obligated to offer free airtime -- presumably in the traditional form of public service announcements PSAs such as most stations present in behalf of non-profit organizations. The paper analyzes the statutory and constitutional status of commercial broadcasting, explores the background of PSA carriage, and assesses the relative strengths and weaknesses of reliance by the Army on free and paid advertising. It concludes that, in any serious promotion effort, paid advertising alone holds the promise of exploiting the full selling power of the electronic communications media.
[A, Approved For Public Release]