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Transcript: "Dear nappy-headed corporate whore". Advertising, Apr 27 2007

Thom responds to a freeloader who wants the radio, but not to pay for it by hearing the advertising.

Thom Hartmann on Progressive Talk Radio Advertising, 27 April 2007

"Dear nappy-headed corporate whore", that's how the email starts that I got from Richard the other day. He says, "I'm a long time listener and letter writer. I'm sure you've deleted many of my emails. For the most part I agree with your point of view. I have to disagree with you on walking the talk. I used to order from your advertisers to make sure you stayed on the air. I've now written all of them and told them I can no longer order from them because of your current advertising practice". Frankly, Richard doesn't identify what he's objecting to, but he continues. He says, "I'm a frequent caller to a radio show on one of the networks that carry your show. We spent a lot of time lampooning the baldness products, the male rejuvenation products, gold certificates, shady real estate deals, false insurance sales, stock trading CDs, real estate tycoons sharing their free secrets and every other late night UHF TV advertiser Fox Network will no longer carry since moving to the top of the majors. I will continue to write and call your advertisers and expressed my problems with your becoming a nappy-headed corporate whore. I still listen but my computer spends as much time on mute as on programming. I will not listen to the lies of Scare America. They are no different to any corporation you rail against. I can only assume that you have joined them. Either that or you are a good liar like the talking heads on Fox. Sorry I ever had to write a letter like this. Excuse me I have to mute the sound. You would walk the talk. Got anyone huevos? Read my comment live. P.S. Yes, I call my senators and Kucinich's office to express support for repeal Roe v. Wade and for impeachment. What did you do? Play another commercial? "

Well, Richard I would submit to you, you can call me a corporate whore if you like, that's fine, I would submit to you that you're being a freeloader. This is how we stay on the air. Commercial talk radio is just that; commercial talk radio. We don't do fund drives. We don't spend a week asking you for money. We don't go to big corporations asking for large contributions so that we can that it's underwrite, this is how we stay on the air, is commercial talk radio.

Just a little bit, just a few seconds of inside radio stuff. When we go into a spot break, typically the first one or two spots you hear are coming down from the network and after that you hear spots coming from your local radio station. Then the spot break ends and comes back to me, OK? Just say so you know. Both the network and Air America in this case and local radio stations from time to time are reaching out, you know, they are trying to sell advertising. I mean, this is a major accomplishment. Sorry, a window just threw up and distracted me here. And there are basically like junk spots and there are high quality spots. I want to share with you just a couple of real high quality spots, but the bottom line is, if you're hearing people that you don't support, that you don't like, then ignore them but when you hear an advertiser who actually cares about the radio station that you're on or about the network, please go out of your way to support those ads. It's very straightforward and if you don't, if you hear ads that you don't like, then encourage people in your community to advertise on the radio station that you're listening or with the network you're listening to, and that will help build them.

Here, for example, I originate this show out of KPOJ in Portland, Oregon. This is an ad for a local advertiser, Thom Dwyer; local automotive shop. And this is an example of great advertising from somebody who really cares.

Hi, this is Tom Dwyer of Tom Dwyer Automotive Services. 230 2300. Our country is dangerously close to losing the protection our Constitution provides. Without KPOJ, we would have even less access to critical knowledge and information needed to help us protect our country from the onslaught of fascism. While Tom Dwyer Automotive Services is interested in delivering peace of mind service for your vehicles, nothing matters at this critical time as much as promoting and supporting progressive programming like KPOJ. From all of us at Tom Dwyer Automotive Services, thank you for your trust and support, and thank you for helping me support KPOJ.

Now, that's an ad. This guy is advertising his services and he's one of the best car mechanics in town, but it's an ad. And that's the kind of thing that we all want to hear more of on radio. If you what to hear more of progressive advertising on radio, then reach out to advertisers in your community and say, "hey, you know, we would rather hear from you than from the baldness formula. Why don't you advertise on the local radio station?" Here's another one.

This Veronique Raskin, I'm the president and founder of The Organic Wine Company. What happened when you, Thomas, gave us a plug, the phone started ringing. The first person said, 'whatever it is that you're selling, I want to buy it'. And for the next few hours, the phone rang non-stop. The people who listen to your program are what they call in the business my target audience; people who are conscious and responsible and try to do the right thing and try to think for themselves. I would encourage anyone to advertise on the Thom Hartmann show, absolutely without question, whether that be on the national level or the local level, and you will absolutely get results. The way you can learn more about our imported organically grown wines from France is by calling us. The phone number is 1-888-ECOWINE or you can visit our site at www.ecowine.com.

So, these are called a reverse endorsement in the advertising business and basically it's where an advertiser says, "I'm supporting this radio station, I'm supporting this network". It's (a) some of the most powerful form of advertising out there, and (b) it supports progressive talk radio. These kinds of advertisers are only going to advertise if you listen and respond to them and that's what keeps progressive talk radio on the air. That's what grows progressive talk radio. So, rather than killing the messenger, let's all get on board and try and, here's just, this will be the final thing and the end of my rant. This is another spot that ran on KPOJ, here, the station that we originate our program from in Portland, for a bankruptcy lawyer. You'd think, 'A bankruptcy lawyer? How can a bankruptcy lawyer be talking about progressive things, or even be progressive?" Here he is, Aaron Varhola.

I'm Aaron Varhola, bankruptcy attorney. I've been a KPOJ listener since day one. I'm a debt relief agency, can help you file for bankruptcy. The new bankruptcy laws were written by credit card lobbyists to make it harder for people to file, and some people say you can't file for bankruptcy under the new laws. That's not true. Let me help you out. Call me at 503-546-7913 to see if bankruptcy is right for you. If you can't write this down just now, find my ads in the back of the Willy Week and the Mercury. That's 546-7913. Aaron Varhola, bankruptcy attorney.

That was just very straightforward but it's also supportive of progressive talk radio. So, rather than complaining about, "Hey, you know, I don't like that advertiser; it sounds like something on late night TV", if that category of advertisers are getting in there, it's typically what's called a bulk buy, where the advertising agencies says, "OK, we'll buy a million listeners and we'll toss some of them over to this network and some over to this network and they are relatively inexpensive. The premium advertisers, the high quality advertisers overcharges; those who really care about being on are the ones that we want to reach and we'll reach them through your efforts as well as our efforts. So, you know, you can participate in making progressive talk radio something solid and something that'll last and that's how you do it, you know, rather than, not that I mind getting emails that take me to task, but rather than, you know, picking on the messenger, let's make this work for everybody.

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