Also see Sponsor ID Requirements for Independent Expenditures & Electioneering Communications

The sponsor of a political ad -- the candidate, committee or other person paying for the ad -- usually must be identified.  If a person acts as an agent for someone else or is reimbursed for the funds actually used to pay for the ad, the original source of the payment (or the person doing the reimbursing) is the sponsor.  It's illegal to use an assumed name when identifying an ad's sponsor.


Use the words "paid for by" or "sponsored by" followed by the name and address.  Include the name and address of each sponsor, when there are multiple sponsors.  If one person pays for printing and another person pays for mailing, list both as sponsors.

Political advertising supporting or opposing a ballot measure that costs $1,000 or more – a single ad or the total cost of all advertising that a political committee sponsors supporting or opposing a particular ballot measure – must contain the names of the committee’s “top five” contributors who gave the largest contributions of $1,000 or more to the committee during the 12 months before the ad appeared. If any of the Top 5 are PACs, the advertisement must also list the Top 3 donors to those PAC contributors. If the Top 3 list includes a political committee, the sponsor must continue "drilling down" to determine other top contributing individuals or entities.

Text Size & Placement:

Print ads and websites:

Display sponsor ID and any party preference in an area set apart from the ad text.  Sponsor ID and party preference should be on the first page of a multiple-page ad.  Use at least 10-point type; do not screen or half-tone the text.  Exception:  If a person contributes cash, goods or services to the campaign in order to assist in paying for an ad, it is not necessary to show this contributor's name as a sponsor. The candidate or the candidate's committee may be shown as the sponsor instead, provided the candidate properly reports the contribution.  

Billboards and posters:  Use type that is at least 10% of the largest size type used in the ad.

Small online ads with limited characters:  Display sponsor ID in an automatic display such as a mouse tip/rollover or nonblockable pop-up that remains visible for at least 4 seconds OR on a webpage that is conspicuously linked to the small ad and reached with one mouse click.

Broadcast, video, and online audio ads:

Clearly identify or speak the sponsor’s name and any party preference. Sponsor’s address is not required. The Top 5 (and Top 3, if applicable) contributor information required in videos and television ads about ballot measures may be displayed on the screen for at least 4 seconds in letters greater than 4% of the visual screen height on a solid black background on the entire bottom one-third of the television or visual display screen or bottom one-fourth of the screen if the sponsor does not have or is otherwise not required to list its top five contributors, and have a reasonable color contrast with the background. Abbreviations may be used when naming a Top 5 contributor, if the full name of the contributor has already been clearly spoken in the advertisement.

Items Exempt from Sponsor ID:

  • Campaign paraphernalia, including novelty or sundry items intended for individual distribution and use, with a printing surface area smaller than 4" x 15" square inches, including expandable surface area such as a balloon when expanded, or where such identification is otherwise impractical to provide a readable text.
  • Newspaper ads of one column inch or less (excluding online ads)
  • Reader boards where a message is affixed in movable letters, or skywriting
  • State or local voter's pamphlets published pursuant to law
  • Yard signs - size 4' x 8' or smaller.