Commercial Advertising

 

Policy Summary

Commercial advertising (revenue generating) by external entities on university property or in university publications or electronic media requires prior approval by the Office of Communications and Marketing and the Tax Department.    

With respect to commercial advertising on university property, or in university publications or electronic media, the university must comply with all applicable federal, state and local tax statutes and regulations. In addition, income from advertising activity may be taxable and reportable on the university’s tax return depending on the nature of the advertising and the substance and structure of the contract.  

Who is Governed by this Policy  

  • Staff
  • Faculty

Policy

Commercial advertising by external entities on university property or in university publications or electronic media requires prior approval by the Office of Communications and Marketing and the Tax Department.  The following criteria will be considered in the approval process:   

  1. No paid advertisements may be accepted that are for political purposes;   
  2. No paid advertisements may be accepted that are obscene or indecent;   
  3. No paid advertisements may be accepted that ridicule, exploit, or demean persons on the basis of their age, color, creed, handicap, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation;   
  4. No paid advertisements may be accepted that support the consumption of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products on campus;  
  5. No paid advertisements may be accepted which, in the determination of the university, are inconsistent with the university’s image, per the Office of Communications and Marketing.  

Commercial advertising revenue from fee, corporate sponsorship, or contribution arrangements may cause some or all of the payment arrangement to be taxable income to the university.   

Prior to signing any contract for commercial advertising, the contract must be reviewed by the Senior Vice President and General Counsel and the Tax Department (see  the  Signing of Contracts and Agreements Policy).   

Definitions

Commercial Advertising: Any message or other programming material which is broadcast or otherwise transmitted, published, displayed or distributed and promotes or markets any trade or business, or any service facility or product of an external entity.  Whether the external entity is a for-profit or not-for-profit organization is irrelevant.  Advertising revenue may be generated by a fee, sponsorship, or contribution arrangement.  

Advertising includes:  

  • Messages containing qualitative or comparative language  
  • Price information or other indications of savings or value  
  • Endorsements  
  • Inducement to purchase, sell, or use any company, service, facility or product  

University Property or Publication: Includes all property, both physical and electronic, that is owned, operated, or published by or on behalf of a university department, college, program, or unit.  

Contacts

Contact Phone Number Email Address
University Advertising 202-994-6467  [email protected]
Tax Department 571-553-8313  [email protected]
Office of the General Counsel 202-994-6503  [email protected]

 

Responsible University Official: Vice President for Communications and Marketing
Responsible Office: Communications and Marketing

Last Reviewed: July 8, 2021

 

Non-compliance with this policy can be reported through this website.