Advertising Guidelines

(Download a PDF of this policy.)

Advertising Guidelines Introduction

The university recognizes the need to use advertising to effectively promote its offerings of educational opportunities, cultural events, recreational services, athletic events, public broadcasting programming and employment opportunities to its constituencies. Institutional, program and advocacy types of advertising are created and placed in paid media including both print (newspapers, periodicals, outdoor, posters, etc.) and electronic (television, radio, Internet, etc.).


University Marketing and Communications develops and executes institutional and recruitment oriented advertising to advance the mission of the university.The university news director is responsible for the development and distribution of all new releases and public service announcements with the exception of sports information and public broadcasting programming. Public Broadcasting develops and executes program and public service announcements related to WNMU-TV 13, Public Radio 90 and university designated cable channels. It is also responsible for the development and placement of program advertising. Human Resources is responsible for the development and placement of staff employment advertisements and Academic Affairs is responsible for the development and placement of all faculty vacancy announcements. All other requests to advertise university programs and services must be approved by the sponsoring department and University Marketing and Communications. Funding for the development and placement of all advertising activities is the responsibility of the sponsoring department.


The following guidelines are applicable to any advertisement that is either sponsored by or has an implied sponsorship of Northern Michigan University.

  • Advertising sponsored by the university shall be for the purpose of reaching appropriate constituencies to disseminate information about educational opportunities, cultural events, recreational services, athletic events and employment opportunities.
  • Use of an official university mark is required. The mark must be used in accordance with the university's graphic standards manual. The university editor must approve any alterations or exceptions.
  • Any advertising construed as objectionable is strictly prohibited. Types of objectionable elements or content include, but are not limited to:
    • discrimination (either overt or by omission) on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age; 
      profanity, obscenity, lewdness or any suggestions thereof;
    • alcoholic beverages and tobacco products in name, likeness, or implication.
  • Advertising by establishments or organizations that serve alcoholic beverages or provide gaming is permitted provided advertiser messaging is the promotion of other aspects of their business like restaurants, hotel accommodations and entertainment acts and venues.
  • No advertising of any sort for products or services outside of the university can appear on any official university page without permission from the university Web managers.

Sponsors of advertising programs should allow adequate lead times to develop creative concepts and produce quality-advertising materials, as well as plan and place media.

The university reserves the right to be the sole judge of appropriate advertising.


To ensure consistent quality and production values and because of collective bargaining contracts, sponsors must use on-campus graphic and video production services. These services can be obtained from the Learning Resource Center and Printing Services. Planning and placement consulting is available from the Director of Marketing Services and the University Editor.

Questions concerning the interpretation of these policies should be directed to University Marketing and Communications, 409 Cohodas Building.