Advertising and Sponsorship in University Print and Online Publications (AP-01-109)

UW-River Falls Administrative Policy
Policy ID: AP-01-109
Effective: September 23, 2008
Last Revision: September 2014
Review: 3 years

Advertising and Sponsorship in University Print and
Online Publications
Maintained by: ACBF/Publications Office
Approved by: Chancellor
Next Review Date: September 2017

Printable PDF version


The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for allowing advertising and sponsorship in university print and electronic publications, including World Wide Web pages and other network communications.

Revenue and other benefits gained from such advertising or sponsorship can be used to support the worthwhile operations of the university and the students it serves. These benefits, however, must be balanced against the university's interests in protecting its image and reputation. Acceptance of advertising or sponsorship does not signify endorsement of any product or service, nor will advertising and sponsorship be permitted if deemed harmful to the delivery of educational services.


The UW-River Falls Chancellor issues this policy in accordance with the Administrative Policy process.
The ACBF is responsible for the administration of this policy. Request an exception to this policy by writing to

Sanctions and Appeals Process

Failure to adhere to the provisions of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary action as provided under existing procedures applicable to students, faculty, and staff, and/or civil or criminal prosecution.


  1. Advertising:
    For Academic University Publications - The primary purpose of academic university publications is to support the academic mission of the university. Accordingly, non-university advertising in academic university publications is prohibited, except:
    • where the advertising promotes university products and programs to audiences internal to the university; or
    • where the Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance has determined that special circumstances exist which warrant granting an exception to the general prohibition on advertising.
    For Non-academic University Publications - Advertising in non-academic university publications, print or electronic, is permitted where it conforms to applicable institutional policies on acceptable advertising (i.e., see policy on advertising of alcohol and/or tobacco products, AP 54 [revised]).
    The Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance will be the final arbiter on questions of whether a publication is “academic” or “non-academic” in nature.
  2. Sponsorship:
    Sponsorship is permitted in both academic and non-academic university publications. Acknowledgement of a sponsorship is limited to providing the following information and must otherwise comply with all other applicable university policies:
    • name of sponsor
    • purpose to which the sponsorship was directed
    • a sponsor’s location, both geographical and on the Web
    • non-comparative, value-neutral descriptions of the product or services
    • a sponsor’s institutional goals or a public service message
    • a sponsor’s brand or trade names, including depictions of the same
    • a sponsor’s bona fide text or visual logo
    • the length of time a sponsor has been in business or the date its business commenced
    • a sponsor’s telephone number
    • a “hot link” to a sponsor’s external Web pages

University Responsibilities

Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance
Publications Office

Department/Unit Responsibilities

Deans, Department Chairs, and Directors


  1. UW System Policy G43 dated Oct. 29, 2001: Financial Administration–Advertising, Sponsorship and Links on the Internet --
  2. UWRF Administrative Policy AP-01-101: Sign Posting Policy
  3. UWRF Administrative Policy AP-01-207: Advertising, Sponsorship, and Promotion of Alcohol and/or Tobacco Products on Campus


Advertising is any advertisement, signage, label, packaging, imprint, logo, sales promotion activity or device, public relations material or events, merchandising or other activity or communication that has the obvious intent of promoting or marketing a non-university product, service, event, or organization.

Sponsorship is non-university underwriting of a specific university event, publication or special activity that represents the equivalent of a gift-in-kind or a gift of money insofar as the non-university sponsor provides or pays for promotion, materials, awards, and/or other items or services of value related to the specific event, publication or special activity. Sponsorship or acknowledgements of sponsorship are not advertising as defined in this policy.

Print Publications are any physical materials (usually paper) imprinted by or on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and may be either academic or non-academic.

Electronic Publications are online publications delivered by or on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and may be either academic or non-academic.

  • Academic University Publications include, but are not limited to college, unit, or departmental brochures, periodicals, bulletins, catalogs, newsletters, journals, etc., connected to the core academic mission of the university.
  • Non-academic University Publications include, but are not limited to, programs for cultural, community, entertainment, and athletic events; information handbooks; daily planners; directories; and materials intended for non-academic purposes and non-student audiences.


Please direct questions about this policy to