Voice ad policy seeks impartiality
September 24, 2009
“The advertising manager and business board of the Student Voice reserve the right to refuse any advertisement in the case of possible liability or offensive content. The Student Voice does not knowingly accept advertisements that discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, disability, military status or sexual orientation, nor does it knowingly print ads that violate any University, campus, local, state or federal laws.”
The Student Voice advertising policy was developed by the Student Voice’s Business Board, a body comprised of the Editor, Assistant Editor, Business Manager and Advertising Manager. The purpose of said policy is to have working criteria for accepting or denying incoming advertising requests. Without it, the advertising manager would have to decide on a case-by-case basis which ads are appropriate to run. The Student Voice undergoes a personnel changeover every semester. Because of that, the personal ethics, biases and belief structures of the advertising manager change every semester. By placing the burden of decision squarely on the ad manager, the criteria for acceptable ads is constantly in flux. This could lead to inconsistency in what ads the paper accepts, eroding the paper’s professional integrity.
In the coming weeks, the Student Voice will be running some ads that could be perceived as offensive or controversial, most notably in the tobacco and abortion sectors. It is important for readers to understand that the advertising that appears in the paper in no way reflects the personal beliefs or ideologies of the Voice staff. Ads, and opinion columns, for that matter, have nothing to do with the political stance of the paper or its employees.
The advertising policy was developed intentionally to be very broad in terms of what the paper accepts for advertising. The Student Voice has a policy of enacting as little censorship as possible, and that idiom has extended to advertising content, as well. By accepting all ads, unless they have libelous or offensive content, the Voice is practicing non-discrimination. It is also important to note that the money the Voice will receive from accepting an ad has no bearing on whether or not that ad is accepted.
There exists a wall between advertising and the news content of the paper. There will never come a time when the news content of the Student Voice is driven by the advertisers, or the ad content. The Voice has an ad policy in place to ensure consistency across the board, and to maintain non-discrimination towards what ads we accept.