Q&A: Political ad disclaimers

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From The Rochester Sentinel:

Q: I have a question regarding political ad disclaimers. Does an ad have to in­­clude the office a person is running for?

For example, “Ad paid for by committee to elect Shoda Beehler, city clerk-treasurer; Mitsi Hoff, treasurer.” Or can it say, “Ad paid for by committee to elect Shoda Beehler; Mitsi Hoff, treasurer?” 

A: Your second example is acceptable.

The state statute doesn’t require the office to be identified.

The law requires that the advertisement state it was approved either by the candidate or candidate’s committee; or, if a third party submits the ad, the disclaimer must state who paid for the ad and that it either was authorized by a particular candidate or candidate’s committee or that it was not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.

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