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Date: September 6, 2017
GSB Newsroom

Handbook provides critical insights on how to work with campaigns without breaking laws and regulations regarding political ads

WASHINGTON, DC (September 6, 2017) 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, a free handbook for radio executives on how to stay in compliance with the law when it comes to political advertisements. The handbook provides an overview of the essential concepts of political advertising and key regulations affecting legal compliance. The handbook can be viewed on the RAB website with its supplemental FAQ located here.

The guidebook has been drafted by three attorneys with deep experience in broadcasting, political campaigns and the Federal Elections 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 legal 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 is 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.

About GSB

Since its founding in 1966, GSB has provided results-oriented legal counsel to help clients – from established market leaders, to newly launched enterprises and governmental bodies – solve problems, create new opportunities and mitigate risk. The firm takes a holistic approach to managing clients’ needs, with attorneys that are deep in industry experience as well as broad in current and emerging issues. GSB has offices in Seattle, Portland, Washington, D.C., New York, and Beijing. More information is available on the web at

Media Contact

John Williams, Scoville PR for Garvey Schubert Barer

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