Policy Number: 3349-OP-207
Effective Date: 01/01/2021
Responsible Department: Marketing and Communication
- The purpose of the University’s website and web-based technologies is to serve as a tool to support our mission in which NEOMED harnesses diversity, innovation, and collaboration to create transformative leaders and improve health through
education, discovery, and service.
- As a nonprofit organization and institution of public higher education, NEOMED must maintain independence from commercial, political, religious, and other similar types of entities. Not only is this important so that a university maintains its reputation and integrity, but it is required by the regulations that govern tax-exempt status. Advertising and commercial promotion can raise concerns with regard to conflicts of interest, neutrality, freedom from undue outside influence, and decisions made as a custodian of the public’s resources. As such, the University’s web pages must not be used for commercial, non-mission- related purposes. In practice, this means that advertising is prohibited on any University web page or website. “Advertising” refers to any situation in which the University or one of its units receives payment or in-kind gifts in exchange for a link or brand placement on a University web page. This policy is intended to apply to all web pages denoted by the “neomed.edu” domain or those within the range of IP addresses or website domains assigned to NEOMED.
C. Policy Statement
- The Office of Marketing and Communication (“the Office”), which provides oversight of the University .edu domain, and all sub-domains, and has established the following guidelines in compliance with federal, state, and University laws and regulations governing tax-exempt status.
- The Office reserves the right to refuse any and all advertising for reasons not stated in this policy and will have final authority regarding any advertising content.
- Permissible Website Advertising
- Value-neutral descriptions of a product line or service.
- Brand and trade names and product or service listings.
- Location information, including telephone numbers and web addresses (but no call-to-action).
- Slogans that identify and do not promote a product or line of service.
- For advertisers who also provide web-based technologies, acceptable phrases, language, and links for content acknowledging business-related, mission-driven relationships may also include:
- Powered by “XYZ”
- Licensed by “XYZ”
- Provided by “XYZ”
- All language or phrases should link to information for educational or other mission-related purposes but should in no way imply endorsement or promotion of the products or services offered by the advertiser.
- Impermissible Website Advertising
- Any language or link that in the Office’s judgment is gratuitously or blatantly promotional.
- Information or linking that could be construed as an advocacy position on a particular issue or subject.
- Use of any logos or brand identifiers beyond text.
- Use of certain types of language, phrases, and links which the Office deems promotional is prohibited, including:
- Call to action (e.g., “buy one” or “join us”)
- Superlative description or qualitative claim about the company, its products, or its services (e.g., “best”), such as:
- fair price,
- excellent leading,
- quick and clear,
- very accommodating,
- quality, or
- number one.
- Direct comparison with other companies, or their products or services
- Price or value information
- Inducements to buy, sell, rent, or lease
- Endorsements (e.g., “recommended by 4 out of 5 …”)
- Demonstrations of consumer satisfaction
- The context in which the word, phrase, or link appears may always be taken into account and a separate judgment may be made for each advertisement.