Advertising displays, newspaper ads, billboards, signs, brochures, articles, tabloids, flyers, letters, radio or TV presentations, or other means of mass communication, used for the purpose of appealing, directly or indirectly, for votes or for financial or other support or opposition in an election campaign. "Mass communication" is a message intended to reach a large audience through any of the methods described above as well as periodicals, sample ballots, websites, emails, text messages, social media, and other online or electronic formats enabling the exchange of communication. Sending 100 or more identical or substantially similar letters, emails or test messages to specific recipients within a 30-day period is an example of mass communication.
A sponsor of an independent political ad regarding a ballot measure and a candidate must prorate the cost of the ad to determine if the candidate portion meets either 1-5 or A-D above. If so, the sponsor must comply with the disclosure requirements explained in this brochure.
The statement "No candidate authorized this ad. It is paid for by (name, address, city, state)" must be part of the ad. A political committee that is not a bona fide party committee must also include:
Recommended format: No candidate authorized this ad. It is paid for by the Committee for Good Government (Gotham City Merchants Assn.) Top 5 Contributors...
Use the words "paid for by" or "sponsored" followed by the sponsor's name and address. Include all sponsors' names and addresses, if there are multiple sponsors. When the cost of the ad is $1,000 or more - singly or the total cost of all advertising sponsored by a committee about a particular ballot measure - also include:
Candidate party preference and sponsor requirements must:
Exemptions: Small online ads with limited characters may display the required elements 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 by one click of the mouse. Yard signs no bigger than 8' x 4', clothing such as T-shirts, and bumper stickers no bigger than 4" x 15" are except from the sponsor requirements. See list of all items exempt from sponsor ID..
Clearly identity or speak the sponsor's name and any party preference. (Sponsor's address not required.) If identified, staff recommends that the party preference appear on the screen for at least 4 seconds in letters greater than 4% of the visual screen height at a reasonable color contrast with the background.
When necessary in TV or video ads, a political committee has the option of displaying its Top 5 contributor names on the screen for at least 4 seconds in letters greater than 4% of the visual screen height at a reasonable color contrast with the background. An abbreviation may be used when naming a Top 5 contributor, if the full name of the contributor is clearly spoken in the ad.
The "paid for by" statement and political committee disclosures may appear in print, so long as they are visible for at least 4 seconds, appear in letters greater than 4% of the visual screen height, and have a reasonable color contrast with the background.