Public service announcement Wikipedia

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In the UK, beginner actor Richard Massingham set up Public Relationship Films Ltd in 1938 as a expert agency for generating short educational films for the public. In the films, he typically played a bumbling character who was a bit of more stupid than common, and frequently defined the message of the film via demonstrating the hazards if it was neglected. The films covered topics akin to how to cross the line, how to evade the spread of diseases, how to swim and the way to drive with out causing the line to be unsafe for other users. During the war, he was commissioned by the Ministry of Information to supply films for the war effort. Massingham started to produce longer films, for both inner most businesses and the Government, after the War.

After the war, PSAs were used to educate the public on a broader range of essential issues. In the UK, they were produced for the Central Office of Information COI, and again by inner most contractors, which were primarily small film businesses, comparable to Richard Taylor Cartoons. They were supplied to broadcasters for free for them to use whenever they wished. Their usefulness as a cost free means to fill the gaps in fixed length commercial breaks left by unsold advertising airtime led to their getting used constantly and radically in the 60s, 70s and far of the 80s, and consequently, within both the COI and broadcasting businesses, they were usually referred to as “fillers”. They are still being produced, although the vastly reduced need for broadcasters to turn to 3rd party filler material to address unused airtime during breaks or junctions means they are now only seen rarely.

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