A former broadcaster who learns to mix down music and commercials, burn it on CD; and later plays it in a commercial establishment which is heard over its ceiling and wall speakers will suggest to call the term, “in-store radio.”  Well, it sounded like an FM radio program.  What if it’s done in boats, malls, salons, trains or other venues that are not considered stores?  Is it really right to say “that’s an FM radio program or that’s a radio station?” 

In our own understanding, there are three radio classifications: 
  • Two-way radio – it has a transmitter, receiver-sender gadget through oral communication.
  • Radio Station – it sends broadcast message using a transmitter to radio set.
  • Radio Set – it receives the broadcast message with the help of its antenna.
The two Narrowcasters in the Philippines, Big Brian and Andy Gold were the pioneers of the last radio type booth in Virra Mall Greenhills (now VMall).  They admit that they also used the term "radio" back when they were at Radio Virra Mall but later on, they realized that it is wrong to use the term "radio," if there are no transmitters when it is use in a narrowcast coverage or a commercial establishment. Including Rick Stryker, they now believe that in-store radio is a wrong term.  By the way, all of them came from the broadcast industry.  Rick Stryker is still in the broadcast industry. 
So if we hear an FM radio program format in KFC that says “KFC Radio;” what do you think is that?  Wow, KFC has a radio station.  How did they do that?  What about Superferry radio?  Is this a store or a boat?  If it’s done in a boat, should they call it in-store radio or in-boat radio.  In-store radio is like saying a radio in a store.  Otherwise, it is wrong to say that a radio in a boat is called in-store radio.  Let’s find out.  Based on Wikipedia, boat is a watercraft of modest size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water while a store may refer to a retail store type such as convenience store, department store, grocery store, hardware store, hypermarket, supermarket, toy store, variety store, warehouse club, etc.  

Ok, is boat a store?  If it's not, so why say in-store radio?  Now how come Superferry calls it Superferry Radio?    

With all of these in mind, we can say that those companies that are using the term “radio or in-store radio,” just to come-up with a name is misleading the audience or market by getting their attention that leads to a different understanding of what really radio is.  We don’t know why they are really using a wrong term but for the sake of promotion or by getting people’s attention, they will do so.  Bottom line, it’s really good to have a real radio station the fact that your business is not into broadcasting. 

Let’s examine the meaning of Radio……According to Article 4 Section 4 on the  Code of Ethics for Advertising regulated by Adboard (Advertising Board of the Philippines), and it says; Advertising copy, slogan or terms should not mislead, or confuse the consumer as to the materials, content, origin, utility or function of any product or service.  Meaning, as marketers and advertising practitioners, we should not use terms that could give a different meaning that will lead our target audience to a wrong thought.  Nowadays, we can hear music and commercials in places like stores, restaurants, boats, boutiques and other coverage claiming that they have a radio station.  In the Philippines, hearing something from a store that says “NationalBookstore Radio” is like saying that this establishment has a radio station.  Their business is selling office, school supplies and other items.  Having a radio station needs a permit from the NTC.  Why invest on a radio station that is so expensive which is not the nature of their business.  In fact, I even called up NTC and asked about the usage of radio when the material is CD.  I talked to the people (Eng. Alvin/Bobby & Jess Salvani) at the Broadcast Division and told me that I’m correct.  Later, I was asked to make a letter of complaint?  For me, making a complaint letter is just a waste of time.  What I need to know is am I right?  And the answer is YES.  Investing in a radio station according to SEC has a lot of things to process: like the granting of congress to franchise a proposed station and the SEC requirement of at least 5 million for its operational expenses.  Wow, that’s tough.  So if this is not a real radio station, then they should not use the term “In-store Radio.”  We all know that radio is a telecommunications term.  According to Merriam-Webster, RADIO is of/or relating to electric currents or phenomena (as electromagnetic radiation) of frequencies between about 3000 hertz and 300 gigahertz or transmitted by radio.  In Wikipedia, radio is the transmission of signals, by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light.  Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space. Information is carried by systematically changing (modulating) some property of the radiated waves, such as amplitude, frequency, or phase. When radio waves pass an electrical conductor, the oscillating fields induce an alternating current in the conductor. This can be detected and transformed into sound or other signals that carry information.  Conclusion: This is very technical and those companies don’t need to have a licensed telecommunications engineer to operate the playing of CD's that sounded like an FM radio. Whatever the system of playing something that sounded like an FM radio program and has no transmitter; those companies should change the term and not use "in-store radio" for the sake of the Code of Ethics for Advertising.  

Now here’s a way that would give you an FM radio sound in stores and other establishments: record and mix down music and commercials that would sound like an FM radio program using an Audio Editing software and later burn it on CD; then play it in a CD or DVD player.  This would really sound like a live FM radio broadcast.  Is this what establishments and providers are really referring to?  Is this In-Store Radio?  What do you think?
 

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