radio advertising

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Under radio advertising (radio advertising) refers to the broadcasting of advertising in the program of a radio station . Mostly it is designed by advertising agencies on behalf of a brand owner or product provider. Radio advertising is mostly produced by recording studios, which are also responsible for the casting of the speakers, the music research and composition, the sound design and the final sound mix. The broadcasting radio stations can be remunerated for the broadcast after seconds. Radio or radio advertising are colloquial terms, media law is referred to as radio advertising.


In the United States, the first paid radio commercial was broadcast on August 28, 1922 by WEAF in New York at 3:15 p.m. for an apartment block. Radio Broadcast-Magazine was still of the opinion in 1924 that funding through radio advertising was unsuitable. Soap and detergent manufacturer Procter & Gamble first presented Ma Perkins, an advertising series intended for housewives on August 14, 1933 , which later gave the soap opera its name.

The first German radio broadcast was broadcast on October 29, 1923. As early as May 1924, the Reichspost had approved the so-called “radio advertisements” for the regional companies, but the “advertisements from the air” were only allowed to be sent “to a moderate extent and with the greatest possible caution”. Under all circumstances, "it must be avoided that the cultural significance of broadcasting is impaired by the exercise of advertising ." The "Deutsche Reichs-Postreklame GmbH" was involved in the processing of broadcast advertising . On July 1, 1924, the Silesian "Funkstunde Breslau" broadcast the first advertisement. At that time there were only 100,000 radio participants, in 1925 the advertising share already made up 20% of the program. For a long time, however, radio advertising remained insignificant. In 1930 it reached just 0.3% of total revenue.

At that time, Elly Heuss-Knapp put it in a commercial for Nivea: “In summer we never sit in the house because the sun lures us out”. The copywriter from Beiersdorf and wife of the future Federal President became a pioneer of German radio advertising. Between 1933 and 1939 she worked for Beiersdorf AG in advertising. She invented the music jingle for radio advertising when, from May 1933, she converted the product name into a sung melody for Wybert cough lozenges with an acoustic trademark. Heuss-Knapp had this idea patented and used it for other companies and products; especially for Nivea , Erdal , Kaffee Hag , Blaupunkt and Persil . From June 9, 1932, there was radio advertising for the Agfa Box , and in 1935 for Hansaplast (duration: 1:16 minutes). Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had a negative view of radio advertising; it was finally banned by the Nazis in 1936.

The first German radio commercials after the war were broadcast by Bayerischer Rundfunk in autumn 1949 ; they were still known as the "sounding advertisement". With the exception of the NWDR , all public service broadcasters introduced radio advertising between 1948 and 1950. On May 10, 1954, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Rundfunkwerbung (ARW) was founded, which perceived the advertising interests of the ARD radio companies. However, the proportion of advertising on public radio remained low, so that large audiences only became aware of intensive advertising blocks from Radio Luxemburg , which broadcast a German program with advertisements from April 1958. The NDR and the WDR had previously prevented any kind of advertising broadcasts in their programs in consideration of the “educational and popular education tasks of broadcasting”. The NDR only began in January 1981, the WDR only in November 1987 as the last ARD station with radio advertising. The nationwide programs of the also public radio Deutschlandradio, however, are still free of advertising.

Private radio stations

On November 27, 1980 in Rhineland-Palatinate, the state law on an experiment with broadband cable was passed. From January 1st, 1984 the cable pilot project broadcast in Ludwigshafen. In addition to television programs, the offer included four radio channels: Radio Weinstrasse , an open channel for community radio and two channels in which numerous providers split the broadcasting time (“frequency splitting”). There are now 220 commercial radio stations. The sale of advertising time to radio advertising clients is the commercial basis of private radio broadcasters.

Radio announcer during the recording

Other radio stations in Germany

The stations of the former allied armed forces stationed in Germany ( AFN , BFBS Radio Germany ) do not broadcast any advertising. This also applies to the international services Voice of America , Voice of Russia and Radio Free Europe .

Legal bases

The radio advertising is in Germany legally in the country's media laws , the country's broadcasting laws and the Broadcasting Treaty regulated (RStV). The 13th Amendment to the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty of October 30th / 20th November 2009 has considerably liberalized the regulations for radio advertising. The previously applicable block advertising requirement and requirements for advertising breaks in radio broadcasts are no longer applicable. The legal basis for advertising on private radio is provided by the joint advertising guidelines of the state media authorities based on § 46 RStV and the European advertising guidelines. After that, the beginning of the radio advertising must be clearly marked by an acoustic signal (advertising jingle, announcement) and perceptible to the listener (section 3 advertising guidelines) so that the program and advertising remain distinguishable. The ARD and ZDF have issued advertising guidelines on the basis of § 16f RStV.

Public legal radio

In public broadcasting , the total duration of radio advertising is limited by Section 16 (5) RStV to a maximum of 90 minutes on an annual average on working days. In individual countries, a larger amount of advertising permitted as of January 1, 1987, was retained (see Section 16, Paragraph 5, 2nd HS RStV). This applies e.g. B. for the Bavarian Broadcasting (Art. 4, Paragraph 4, Clause 3 BayRG) or the Hessian Broadcasting, which the state legislature grants 128 minutes on working days as an annual average (Section 3a HRG).

Private broadcasting

In private broadcasting , radio advertising is largely deregulated. In private radio, as in public radio, broadcasts of church services and children's programs must not be interrupted (Section 7a (1) RStV).

Methods of radio advertising

Radio advertising is a secondary medium with which other human activities (driving a car, housework, reading the newspaper) can be carried out in parallel, so that attention is reduced. This must be taken into account when designing radio spots. Lack visualizability it sets all else in the radio-drama elements used, and although language ( dialogue / monologue ), voice ( tone of voice , intonation ), music (especially singing / chanting , song , jingle , music bed ), noise , Live - Moderation , atmospheric overlays, silence and special elements such as the “acoustic logo” / “sound logo”. In addition, specific dramaturgical patterns form the basis for commercials in radio advertising . Verbal or tonal / musical design processes, presenters , slices of life , testimonial , real or fictional radio play, interview or jingle can be used. In the current program, the commercials are usually broadcast within commercial blocks (in a stop set ), whereby several basic forms of the commercial can be distinguished:

  • The classic commercial is the normal form of advertising on the radio, has a duration of approx. 20 to 30 seconds and stands on its own in the advertising block.
  • The so-called tandem spot consists of two related elements within an advertising block that are separated from one another by at least one other spot (for a different product). The tandem consists of either a short “teaser” followed by a main spot or a main spot followed by a “reminder”.
  • Double spot : As with the tandem spot, two spots are placed within an advertising block with the double spot, but in this case they are both identical.
  • The short or mini spot only has a short duration of about five to ten seconds.
  • The single spot is not broadcast as part of an advertising block, but in isolation in the current program.
  • A live reader is read out live by a member of the editorial team.
  • An Allonge spot consists of two parts, the constant base spot and the immediately adjoining Allonge (appendix with changing current information), the two parts form a unit.
  • Content spot is a two-part advertising spot within an advertising block, whereby between the two parts ( intro advertising and outro advertising ) a spot for another product is not sent, but a defined editorial section.
  • The cover spot consists of two spots in the course of an advertising block, but the two parts are located immediately at the beginning and at the end of the block, i.e. at the junctures with the editorial program.


Because radio lacks the visual appeal of television, cinema and print media, its market shares are relatively small. In 2011, its market share in Germany with 709.15 million euros in net advertising income or 3.7% of total income was fourth from bottom of the 13 advertising media. Since its inception in January 1984, private radio can look back on a favorable development, as it is particularly close to the public due to its regional nature. The most important marketers for radio advertising are Radio Marketing Service (RMS) and ARD Werbung Sales & Services GmbH (ARD-Werbung). While RMS only markets private radio stations, ARD advertising markets all public radio stations that broadcast radio advertisements, as well as some private radio stations. In 2011, 77% of Germans listened to the radio for 186 minutes a day, making it the most popular medium.


The ORF is limited to five minutes of advertising time in its regional offers. The possible advertising times for the ORF are regulated in Section 13 (6) of the ORF Act as follows: “One of the Austria-wide radio programs in accordance with Section 3 must remain free from advertising broadcasts. In radio programs broadcast throughout Austria, advertising broadcasts are only permitted throughout Austria. Radio advertising broadcasts may not exceed a total of 172 minutes a day on an annual average, with deviations of a maximum of 20% per day being permitted. In a program, advertising broadcasts may not exceed 8% of the daily broadcast time on an annual average. Radio advertising broadcasts broadcast on state-wide programs are only to be counted once and may not exceed an annual average of five minutes per day, with deviations of a maximum of 20% per day being permitted. The duration of advertising broadcasts that are broadcast simultaneously in more than one state-wide program (ring advertising broadcasts) must be included in the five-minute advertising duration of the respective state-wide program. "

Private radio stations generate between half and two thirds of their income from the advertising time they market themselves in the region, so that the market share of radio advertising in private radio stations is around 40%; Because since 1998 - the beginning of private radio in Austria - ORF had to give up a total of around 20% of the listener market share to private broadcasters. The share of Austrian private radio in the total advertising market was 7.8% in 2002, higher than in Germany.


In Switzerland too, advertising must be clearly separated from the editorial part of the program and clearly identifiable as such (Art. 9 Para. 1 of the Federal Act on Radio and Television; RTVG). Advertising must always be inserted between individual programs and sent in blocks (Art. 11 Para. 1 RTVA). In principle, it may not take up more than 15% of the daily broadcast time of a program and 20% of the broadcast time of an hour (Art. 11 Para. 2 RTGV).

In Switzerland, the market share of radio advertising was only 2.7% in 1997, and by 2001 it had increased continuously to 5.7%. The relatively low importance of radio advertising in Switzerland is attributed to the lack of a national advertising offer in the non-profit organization SRG .

Other states

The front runner in terms of market shares in radio advertising is Luxembourg with 16.2%, followed by the USA with 11.7%. While the high market shares in Luxembourg can be traced back to Radio Luxemburg, in the USA they can be justified by the higher importance of private radio (1997).

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Radio Broadcast Magazine, May 1924, p. 69 (PDF; 7.5 MB)
  2. ^ Regis McKenna: Access Marketing. 2002, p. 31
  3. ^ Konrad Dussel: German radio history. 2007, p. 44
  4. a b There has been radio advertising for 85 years . In: Main-Post , June 25, 2009
  5. Reiner Burger: Theodor Heuss as a journalist. 1999, p. 292
  6. Katja Iken: The Films of the First Lady. one day , February 2010
  7. Hartmut Berghoff: Modern company history. 2004, p. 326
  8. Hans-Gerd Conrad: Brand advertising by Dr. Oetker. 2011, p. 171
  9. Closer to the Ruhr area . In: Der Spiegel . No. 9 , 1958, pp. 52 f . ( online ).
  10. Common advertising guidelines for Rhineland-Palatinate (PDF; 46 kB)
  11. ARD advertising guidelines , ZDF advertising guidelines (PDF)
  12. a freely chosen scene representation from everyday life
  13. the time when commercials are usually sent
  14. Peter Winkelmann: Marketing and Sales . 2013, p. 444
  15. Most media in the plus . Central Association of the German Advertising Industry (ZAW), 2012