CSU Policy: Advertising in University Media

Policy Title: Advertising in University Media Category: Administration
Owner: Vice President for University Marketing and Communications Policy ID#: 5-6025-001
Creative Services
Web: http://creativeservices.colostate.edu/
Email: ccs_receptionist@Mail.Colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-4907
Original Effective Date: 1/1/2009
Last Revision: 8/15/2018
Print Version: Click Here to Print


Paid advertising opportunities are available for many University publications and media, including (for example) Colorado State Magazine, University digital signage, College Avenue Magazine, and the CSU Visitors Guide. Advertising may be available to both CSU entities and affiliates (internal ads) and outside customers such as commercial businesses and non-profits (external ads). The purpose of this policy is to address the types of advertising that may be accepted and explain the conditions and restrictions on advertising.


This policy applies to anyone seeking to advertise in a University publication or digital medium. It does not apply to independent publications of Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, including the Rocky Mountain Collegian.  However, when acting in partnership with a University entity or unit, RMSM will abide by this policy. Examples include, but are not limited to, CSU Visitors Guide and CSU Life.


“Advertise” and related terms (e.g., “Advertisement”, “Advertising”, “Ad”) means a paid insertion of a commercial message in University media such as newspapers, magazines, online publications, digital signs, and any other official University publications. It does not include non-commercial items such as official University notices, announcements, news stories, and press releases.

“University Media” includes all print and electronic publications and communications of Colorado State University, whether published or transmitted by the University or by anyone acting on behalf of or in concert with the University. It includes digital signage.

CSU has a strong interest in assuring that advertising carried in University media aligns with our brand and institutional values. Advertisements are subject to certain restrictions as noted in this policy. The Division of External Relations will review all requests for advertising placements in University Media and may accept internal and external advertising, subject to the following requirements and restrictions:


Content and Placement

  1. All advertisements shall be of University or University-related programs or shall be of potential benefit to the University, its students, employees, alumni and/or friends as determined by the University.
  2. No advertising relating to tobacco, marijuana or other illegal drug use, or tattoo parlors.
  3. Advertisements relating to the sale or use of alcoholic beverages will be accepted only for University publications that are primarily intended for circulation to employees, alumni, and visitors, rather than students, in the sole discretion of the University. Advertisers are encouraged to use the Rocky Mountain Collegian newspaper, CTV television, KCSU radio, and College Avenue publication, among others, to reach the student population.
  4. No advertising will be accepted that is deemed at the sole judgment and discretion of the University to be of or containing non-health related sexual content.
  5.  Advertising of a political or religious nature is limited to factual information about a scheduled event.
  6. Placement and pricing preference shall be given to advertisements and announcements promoting events, programs, etc. for Colorado State University entities.
  7. Pricing preference may be offered to advertisements promoting businesses owned by Colorado State University alumni.
  8. Commercial ads that may cause conflict of interest with University programs will be discussed with program directors. Unresolved conflicts may result in ads being refused or pulled. If a commercial placement is pulled by the University for any reason, the sponsor shall be relieved of liability for payment of a pro rata portion of the contract price, calculated by dividing the total number of inserts included in the contract price by the number of inserts that are canceled as a result of the University’s action. Nothing in this section shall permit a sponsor to receive any refund, credit or forgiveness of payment if the sponsor decides to withdraw an insert prior to the deadline for an issue publication.
  9. Where opportunities are limited, preference will be given to internal advertisements, notices and announcements promoting University events, programs, etc.
  10. Notwithstanding any other provision of this policy, CSU reserves the right to accept or not accept any advertisement, in its sole discretion.   

Postal restrictions

To maintain non-profit mailing status, Colorado State Magazine may not carry ads for financial instruments such as credit cards, travel arrangement services, or insurance services.

Outdoor Digital Signs

The University has installed eight large, two–sided, outdoor digital signs located strategically on campus in high-visibility, heavy pedestrian and drive-by corridors. (Signs may be added, removed or relocated by the University from time to time in its sole discretion). The signs, which will normally operate year-round for 16 hours or more (suggested 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.) per day, seven days per week, provide opportunities to reach students, faculty & staff with important information through outdoor messaging on main campus. These signs are intended only for messages relating to official University business, departmental messaging, and commercial advertising as managed by the Division of External Relations.

Digital sign advertising is subject to the following requirements and conditions:

  1. Emergency messaging will take precedence over all other messages, as deemed necessary by the University Public Safety Team.
  2. All artwork and copy provided by advertiser is subject to approval and may be rejected at the sole discretion of the Division of External Relations.
  3. Ads must be of University-wide interest.
  4. Limited availability will be handled on first-come, first-served basis.
  5. External Relations reserves the right to change schedules without notice to promote mission-critical University events and information.
  6. Other requirements, terms and conditions as set forth in guidelines and contract documents provided by the Division of External Relations.
  7. Notwithstanding any other provision of this policy, CSU reserves the right to accept or not accept any advertisement, in its sole discretion.


CSU Policy: Signs, Posters and Banners

CSU Policy: Sales and Solicitations

CSU Advertising: https://universitycommunications.colostate.edu/campus-communication-tools/

Rocky Mountain Student Media Corp. (Rocky Mountain Collegian)


Approved January 1, 2009

Revision 1.01 approved by Amy L. Parsons, Vice President for University Operations, March 16, 2015

Revision 2.00 approved by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations, November 9, 2016

Revision 3.00 approved by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations, August 15, 2018


Print Version: Click Here to Print

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