The Signal’s Code of Advertising Acceptability
Advertising must have consumer confidence if it is to perform its communication job effectively. To instill this confidence in the Buyer, advertising must “tell the truth.” It is assumed that the consumer will not take every advertising statement literally, yet the consumer expects that demonstrations and claims of the product or service will provide an honest picture of that product or service. Thus the question of literal truth is irrelevant; the important question is the impression the advertising makes on people’s minds.
Advertising that is offensive or in bad taste is even more difficult to define in a university community, which tends to be more liberal and, consequently, less easily offended. However, all consumers and users of the media can expect the writers of advertising and of the media which run the advertising to abide by the accepted rules of decency and taste of the audience they expect their advertising to reach.
The Association of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.’s “Fair Trade Code for Advertising and Selling” provides a useful guide for setting standards of advertising acceptability. This code and the considerations mentioned above have been considered in establishing the following standards of acceptability for advertising in The Signal.
The Signal will strive to ensure that the advertising in its publications:
- Serves the public with honest values.
- Tells the truth about what is offered.
- Makes good as promised on any guarantee offered.
- Promotes and sells merchandise on its merits and refrains from reflecting unfairly upon competitors, their products, services or methods of doing business.
- Supports claims made for the product or service within the advertisement.
- Is made available to all members of class of advertisers.
- Will only allow testimonials by competent witnesses who are sincere and honest in what they say about the product or service.
- Avoids tricky devices and schemes such as deceit, fictitious list prices, bait advertising, misleading free offers and fake sales.
NOTE: According to the Student Press Law Center, which offers free legal services to student publications, we are not legally required to accept an ad. Although the First Amendment protects free speech, it does not create a right of access to media.
For more information about advertising in The Signal, contact the advertising desk at 281-283-3975 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. PDF downloads of The Signal’s advertising rate cards and advertising contract for the Spring 2013 semester are available below.