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Advertising, promotion and sponsorship content guidelines

A few quick guidelines to look after our readers and make sure your money is spent wisely with us

Advertising, promotion and sponsorship content guidelines

We want to help our clients as much as possible but we do ask that all advertising, promotion and sponsorship across our brands is appropriate. We have these rules to allow us to reach the biggest and broadest possible audience in a responsible way and to ensure our valued audience is not unfairly exploited.

The following are general guidelines but we review all submissions on a case-by-case basis and reserve the right to accept or reject any content. We would be happy to give you as much help as we can to create acceptable and effective content.

Laws and standards
Advertising and marketing content must not violate applicable laws, regulations or industry standards.

Hate and violence
We will reject hateful or violent content directed at an individual or group. Our policy is to promote equality worldwide and to work against all bigotry on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, sex (gender), creed, national origin, language religious belief, marital or partnership status or age.

Adult, erotic and pornographic content
We do not allow advertisements that contain or promote inappropriate adult content. This may include excessive nudity, sexual terms and/or images of people in positions or activities that are excessively suggestive or sexual, or provocative images. The most common exception is for sexual health products or services, particularly where placing these messages is in the public interest.

We do accept ads for alcohol but the campaigns need to be appropriately age targeted. We prefer ads which urge drinking in moderation only and will reject ads which encourage reckless drinking, particularly if the behaviour may endanger others.

Gambling advertising and marketing messages will be reviewed on a case by case basis and must be targeted only at those aged over 18 years old. We obviously welcome content from responsible companies and organisations who wish to help members of our audience recover from gambling addiction or deal with the effects of gambling.

Mental and physical health messages, including those relating to diet and cosmetic treatment, must be realistic and accurate. Claims should be backed up by appropriate scientific information and qualifications and accreditations should come from appropriate organisations.

Content must not promote firearms, ammunition or any dangerous or lethal weapons of any kind, including those used for self defence.

Spam and ‘get rich quick’ schemes
Content should not have the potential to unfairly exploit our readers, for example through ‘get rich quick’ or pyramid schemes. It cannot contain or promote ‘spam’.

Subscription services
‘Subscription services’ may include text or phoneline services or anything where a user signs up for product or service with recurring billing.

Pricing and billing information must be clearly stated, as must any action required for a user to qualify for any offer. The information should be displayed in such a way that it is easy to find, read and understand and so it is understood before purchase decisions are made.

Subscription service providers must ensure they are complying with all laws, regulations or industry standards in all territories in which they operate.

Age restrictions
Where age restrictions apply to a product or service, you should alert us to this and should only provide content that targets those products or services to the appropriate age range.

You may not use copyrighted content without the copyright holder’s express permission. It is your responsibility to ensure this is done.

Defamation, malicious falsehood and contempt
It is your responsibility to ensure the content you provide is not defamatory, does not constitute a malicious falsehood and is not in contempt of court in any territory in which we publish.