Web Advertising and Sponsorship: Policy and Guidelines
These guidelines provide basic principles and examples of acceptable and unacceptable acknowledgments of sponsorships and advertising on Idaho State University web pages.
Idaho State University provides its electronic resources to support the mission of the University: to advance scholarly and creative endeavors through the creation of new knowledge, cutting-edge research, innovative artistic pursuits and high-quality academic instruction. The quality of information that is published by Idaho State University affects its reputation and image. There may be federal income tax consequences associated with permissible types of advertising activities.
- A sponsorship is when a sponsor provides funding to the University or a University unit. An acknowledgment is when the University or University unit gives recognition to a sponsor.
- An acknowledgment is not to promote or endorse the sponsor, the sponsor’s products or services.
- Acknowledgments should reflect the integrity of the University’s reputation and image.
- Consistent with Idaho State University’s status as a charitable organization, campus departments may acknowledge corporate/donor contributions they receive, as long as the acknowledgments do not promote the sponsor and do not contain comparative or qualitative descriptions of the sponsor’s products, services, facilities, or companies. An acknowledgment of this type is excluded from income tax.
- Sites which feature sponsorships or advertising must use a University-approved web template designed for such purposes. These templates can be found at http://www.isu.edu/websc/templates.shtml.
Sponsors may be acknowledged on official university sites related to university-sponsored artistic or cultural programs, conferences, or special events. Where possible, sponsorship should not be displayed on a unit's home page. As part of the acknowledgment you may include (with sponsor permission):
- Sponsor name
- Sponsor location in clear text (physical or web address)
- Value-neutral description of sponsor
- Sponsor logo
- Corporate logos are restricted to a maximum area of SIZE pixels. On sponsor-only pages, logos may be as large as an area of SIZE pixels.
- Images must reside on and be under the control of the university site.
- Logos may not be animated or interactive.
- Logos should be subordinate in size and placement to page content and university marks.
Acknowledgments may not include:
- product names
- service information
- call to action
- comparative or qualitative descriptions of the sponsor’s products, services, facilities, or companies
Sponsors are not entitled to display university marks on their web sites without prior written consent. Some examples of acceptable acknowledgements of third party sponsors include:
- We (gratefully) acknowledge the following sponsors: thereafter, list the contributors to an event or an organization.
- The “ISU program/event” is supported, in part, by “Name of Organization.”
- We gratefully acknowledge the sponsorship (or contribution) of “Name of Organization.”
Within the title of an event, some acceptable acknowledgements of event sponsors include:
- ISU Concert Series sponsored by “Name of Sponsor.”
- The ISU Concert Series, brought to you by “Name of Sponsor.”
- “Name of Sponsor” brings you the ISU Concert Series.
Within an event title, some unacceptable acknowledgments would be:
- ISU - “Name of Sponsor” Concert Series.
- Presenting the “Name of Sponsor” Concert.
Generally, advertising or an expressed or implied endorsement of a third party, its products or services on an ISU web site is not permitted. Advertising an ISU program or service is permissible.
ISU web sites for core academic and administrative activities are not to subject faculty, students or staff to commercial messages that aren’t under the auspices of the University. Co-branding, hyperlinked logos, link exchanges, and associate, affiliate, and referral programs are among the items that will be considered advertising if compensation is exchanged or anticipated. Text links provided for informational purposes or as part of a comprehensive list of sources will not be considered advertising unless the purpose is to promote a product or service.
This policy is not meant to prohibit auxiliary-funded departments from providing appropriate information on their products and services.
Links from an Idaho State University page to any non-university site must not imply university endorsement of the site's products or services. In instances where this is not clear, or when the link is to a commercial site, or when the link is to a sponsor’s or advertiser’s site, a disclaimer should be included. The disclaimer is:
Links on these pages to non-university sites do not represent endorsement by Idaho State University or its affiliates.
ISU web sites for extracurricular activities or information (e.g., the Alumni Association, Athletics) may, under approved contracts, carry references or links to third parties. However, the ISU web site shall not imply University endorsement of the entity, products or services, and shall include the above-referenced disclaimer.
When permitted, links to third party sites should open a separate new browser window.
Links may also be allowed for:
- licensed software required for Web viewing; the logo or link represents licensed software on which a core function of the page is based, e.g., Adobe Acrobat Reader, RealAudio, VeriSign
- separately contracted vendors; the logo or link is to a vendor or other entity separately contracted to provide services to the University, e.g., TIAA-CREF.
Tax Considerations: Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT)
Activities that may be subject to Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) are revenue-producing activities that are carried on regularly and:
- are not directly related to accomplishing the University’s education and research mission;
- are conducted for the primary purpose of earning a profit;
- compete with commercial businesses that provide similar services to the public; and
- generally involve the provision of services or products to non-University persons (i.e., other than University academic and staff employees and students).
UBIT is imposed at the same tax rates that are applicable to “for-profit” corporations. For more information on UBIT, contact Financial Services.
The ISU Foundation, Bengal Foundation and activities authorized by the President are the sole entities authorized to conduct fund raising via pledge forms or direct contributions on the Idaho State University web site.
Faculty, staff, and students may not conduct fund raising campaigns on their personal pages, or link to a fund raising page other than that of the ISU Foundation or Bengal Foundation or a group authorized by the President.
Review and Approval Process
Since shopping and advertising portals and other e-commerce activities may have a substantial impact on the University, agreements to develop these services must undergo a campus review process. Official university units seeking to develop e-commerce and similar services must seek approval from the Web Advisory Committee and General Counsel.
- The Web Advisory Committee has representation from areas with these perspectives: academic, financial, communications, and technology infrastructure.
- University Counsel reviews recommendations from the Web Advisory Committee to satisfy legal requirements.
Requests for review may be sent directly to the Office of Web Communications or a member of the Web Advisory Committee. Based on review by the committee and with the recommendations of its members, proposals will be forwarded to the President for final approval.