Q&A: Disclaimers on political ads


From The Herald (Jasper):

Q: Does an ad that doesn’t overtly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate need a disclaimer at the bottom of the ad if company office holders sign it?

A: Since there isn’t anything in the copy you provided that advocates the election or defeat of a candidate, arguably it doesn’t fall under the definition of a political ad that would require the disclaimer. But since it addresses the integrity of two candidates and the lack of a disclaimer for a political ad is a crime, I’d recommend that the ad include the tag line “paid for by X” and either “authorized by candidate X (or candidate

X’s campaign committee)” or “not authorized by any candidate.”

It’s a safer route to take for the company running the ad. Either way the newspaper isn’t liable for the decision to include or exclude the disclaimer.