Publisher Advertising Guidelines
These guidelines are incorporated in and made part of Connect Adlinks, LLC's ("Connect Adlinks") Publisher Terms and Conditions which govern Publisher's relationship with Connect Adlinks.
Connect Adlinks has a strict policy that all advertising must be in compliance with the relevant law and Connect Adlinks policies. The overarching goal of these guidelines is to ensure that advertising complies with Connect Adlinks standards and the law. If you have any questions regarding these guidelines or a particular advertisement, please contact your attorney.Prohibited Advertising
Connect Adlinks prohibits the following types of advertising:
- Business opportunities and get rich programs
- Advertising of "adult" products and services.
- Advertising directed to persons under the age of 18.
- Advertising that promotes criminal or illegal activity, is obscene, pornographic, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, racially, sexually or ethnically objectionable, constitute personal attacks on other individuals or is contrary to the laws of any place where such advertising may be distributed.
Advertising that is deceptive for any reason is prohibited. Advertising is deceptive if it contains a statement, omission or practice that is likely to mislead consumers and affect consumers' behavior or decisions about a product or service. Examples of deceptive advertising include:
- False or inaccurate claims whether express or implied, regarding any feature or quality of a product or service.
- Omission of material terms and conditions. All material terms and conditions of the offer including, pricing, additional charges, and recurring charges must be clearly and prominently displayed on your landing page.
- Unsubstantiated statements regarding a product such as "tests prove", "doctors recommend", and "studies show". If an advertisement contains these types of statements, the publisher must be able to provide at least the advertised level of substantiation. For example is the advertisements asserts that "surveys show," the publisher must be able to provide legitimately conducted surveys which show the claimed fact.
- Undisclosed paid endorsements and testimonials, i.e., flogging.
- False endorsements and testimonials. For an example, the advertisement contains a letter touting a product that was supposedly written by a consumer when, in fact, the letter was written by the advertiser.
- Undisclosed payments and charges. If a purchase requires an additional payment or charge such as shipping and handling, the payment or charge must be clearly and prominently disclosed. All billing terms must be clear and prominently displayed.
- Undisclosed recurring payments. If a purchase or participation in a promotion results in automatic charges to consumers on a recurring basis, such charges must be clearly and prominently disclosed. The disclosure must also provide a means for consumers to cancel such charges.
- Offerings of "free," "complimentary," "no cost," "gift" or "bonus" products. All such offerings (referred to herein as "free") must truly be without charge. Any additional payments such as postage and handling and all the terms, conditions and obligations upon which receipt and retention of the "free" item are contingent must be set forth clearly, conspicuously and in close conjunction with the offer of ``free'' goods or services. All conditions and obligations required for receipt and retention of the "free" item must (i) be reasonable, (ii) not be unduly difficult or expensive and (iii) make it more likely than not that the consumer, once it commences performing the conditions and obligations, will continue with them to completion and receive the "free" item.
- Disclosure of the terms of the offer set forth in a footnote of an advertisement to which reference is made by an asterisk or other symbol placed next to the offer, is not sufficient.
- When making comparisons to another's products or services, the comparison must be truthful.
- "As seen on" and "as heard on" statements must be true. Such statements are not true if they refer to an advertisement broadcast during a television program or radio show or if the product was unfavorably referred to on a television program or radio show.
- Statements, whether express or implied, that a person has "won" a contest or has been "selected" to receive a prize or a gift (and all other similar statements) must be true. Such statements shall not be used when there has not been a contest drawing or when a substantial portion of consumers receiving the message or advertisement are identified as having "won" or been "selected" to receive an item.
A disclaimer or disclosure (collectively, "disclaimers") is something that limits or qualifies an advertising claim. For example, a disclaimer can relate to a requirement to purchase or subscribe to something or pay additional fees, recurring payments, or that the results or product characteristics touted in the ad may vary.
All disclaimers must be clear and conspicuous. That is, consumers must be readily able to notice, read and understand the information. Keep in mind that consumers do not typically read every word on a screen let alone on the entire website. The goal is to have the consumer read and understand the disclaimer and avoid a situation where a consumer could say "I did not know." Importantly, a disclaimer alone usually is not enough to remedy a false or deceptive claim.
- To the extent practical, the relevant limitations and qualifying information, i.e., purchase, significant fees or acceptance of credit application required, should be incorporated in or in close proximity to the underlying claim (the closer the better).
- All disclaimers must be in language that is readily understandable to the consumers.
- All disclaimers must appear on the first page of the advertisement and on subsequent pages if the claim is repeated.
- If an ad is viewed on multiple platforms, the disclaimer must be clear and conspicuous on each platform.
- The size, color, location and graphics of the disclaimer affect its prominence. Nothing shall be done to make a disclaimer less conspicuous or prominent.
- If there is not enough space to place the entire disclaimer in the ad, the central aspect of the disclaimer should be placed in the ad with the full disclaimer available through a conspicuously labeled hyperlink.
- When it is necessary to use a hyperlink to link to a disclaimer, the hyperlink must be obvious, placed as close as possible to the information being disclaimed, and take consumers directly to the linked disclaimer page. The hyperlink should be clearly labeled to communicate the specific nature of the information to which it leads, e.g., "Service plan required. Get service plan prices." Hyperlinks that simply say "disclaimer," "more information," "details," "terms and conditions," or "fine print" are not sufficient.
- Avoid advertisements which require scrolling to see the disclaimer. If scrolling cannot be avoided, text or visual cues should be used to encourage consumers to scroll to view the disclosure.
- Disclaimers must appear on webpages that appear before the consumer makes a decision to buy, i.e., before the consumer clicks "order now," reaches the shopping cart or similar page where the consumer accepts the offer.
- Other parts of the advertisement shall not distract attention away from the disclaimer or contradict the disclaimer.
- Disclaimers in the form of potentially blockable pop-ups are not acceptable.
Connect Adlinks respects the intellectual property rights and others. Advertising that violates another's patents, trademarks, trade dress, copyright, right of publicity or right of privacy is prohibited.
- Publishers must have written permission to use all photographs and music appearing or played in their advertisements.
- If a photograph used in the advertisement shows a person, the publisher must have the written consent of that person to use his/her image for advertising purposes.
- An advertisement cannot state that a product or service is used or endorsed by a celebrity or any other person unless that celebrity/person has given the publisher consent to use his/her name for advertising purposes.
- Advertisements cannot contain a third party's logo or design marks. This includes logos and design marks appearing in photographs of a third party's product.
- Use of another's trademark (in non-stylized print form) must be for legitimate comparison purposes only.
Connect Adlinks expects that its advertisers adhere to the highest legal and industry standards when engaging in mobile advertising.
- All advertising of all Mobile Marketing programs which involve the consumer sending or receiving an SMS, MMS or similar type message, Publisher shall clearly and conspicuously (i) use the phrase "Message & Data Rates May Apply" or "Msg&Data Rates May Apply" within the body of the advertisement; (ii) set forth the frequency of the messaging; (iii) provide customer service contact information; and if the program is recurring, (iv) post instructions on cancelling or opting-out of the program. The content of advertising near and around the disclaimer "Msg&Data Rates May Apply" shall not detract from or cause confusion regarding said disclaimer.
- All mobile advertising involving the purchase of a mobile product (i.e., ringtones) or service (i.e. games or updates on sports scores) and/or otherwise requiring a payment (collectively, "Premium Mobile Marketing Programs") must clearly and conspicuously disclose: (i) any initial and recurring charge, (ii) the amount and frequency of any such charges; (iii) the length of the Premium Mobile Program, (iv) whether any other additional charges apply,; and (v) if there is a recurring charge, that the user will be charged automatically until the user cancels the Premium Mobile Marketing Program.
- All Premium Mobile Marketing Programs must be double opt-in.
- All mobile advertising must contain a link to the applicable terms and conditions of the mobile program being advertised. Said terms and conditions said terms and conditions must clearly and prominently provide information as to how the user can opt-out of receiving messages from the advertiser and, if the user the program is a subscription or recurring program, how the user can cancel the subscription or program.
- Publishers must certify in writing that all sweepstakes and games of chance (collectively, "sweepstakes") promoted or conducted by the publisher have been reviewed and approved by an attorney (including all rules relating to the sweepstakes), and that all required government filings have been made.
- Sweepstakes and games of chance (collectively, "sweepstakes") cannot condition entry upon the purchase of a product or service. If a consumer is automatically entered into a sweepstakes upon the purchase of a product or service, the sponsor of the sweepstakes must provide an alternative means of entry that requires no payment, purchase or provision of something of value.
- The rules or a link to the rules relating to the sweepstakes must be conspicuously posted on the entry page for the sweepstakes.