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Directing and Producing for Television, 3rd Edition by Ivan Cury

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chapter eight

Commercials and PSAs

SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES

A public service announcement, or PSA (Public Service Bulletin [PSB] in the United Kingdom) is similar to a commercial but is produced for a socially relevant cause or a nonprofit organization. PSAs are usually dedicated to improving or serving organizations involved in education, health, welfare, safety, etc. In the United States commercial television stations are required by federal communications law to provide service to the community, and airing PSAs is considered a form of community service. Stations usually use their inventory of unpurchased air time to run PSAs. There is no charge to the nonprofit organization; however, the PSAs are most often scheduled to run in non–prime ...

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