Advertising Regulations and Guidelines

Political Advertising

State of Iowa political disclaimer guidelines:

1. If the sponsor is an individual (or individuals), the attribution must provide the full name and complete mailing address of each person who is responsible for or is paying for the ad. The name(s) shall be preceded by the Phrase "Paid for by."

2. If the sponsor is an organization, the full name and complete mailing address of the organization responsible for the ad must be shown, again preceded by the phrase "Paid for by." In addition, the name of at least one officer of the organization must be shown.

3. If the sponsor is a registered political committee (one which has filed a Statement of Organization with either a County Auditor or the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board), only the name of the committee must be shown, again preceded by the words "Paid for by."

In the case of a newspaper ad bearing many names or signatures of supporters where including addresses would be difficult and expensive, the addresses may be placed on file with the Board or County Auditor and this fact noted in the ad.

If a sponsor is donating labor or materials rather than paying for the advertising, the disclaimer statement should begin "Labor (or materials) donated by." In instances of joint sponsorship, both a "donated by" and a "Paid for by" may be necessary.

Tobacco Advertising

The regulations and guidelines restricting tobacco advertising are federal regulations. Newspaper advertising is permitted, but there are a lot of guidelines.

FDA Rules, Regulations and Guidance

FDA Guidance for Industry

Electronic Cigarette Advertising

The FDA is requiring warning on advertisements for e-cigs by Aug. 10, 2018. Here are the requirements:

Format and Display Requirements for Required Warning Statements on Advertisements

Advertisements include print advertisements and other advertisements with a visual component (including, for example, advertisements on signs, shelf-talkers, Web pages, and email). The required warning statement on advertisements must:

  • Appear on the upper portion of the advertisement within the trim area;
  • Occupy at least 20 percent of the area of the advertisement (warning area);
  • Be printed in at least 12-point font size and ensure that the required warning statement occupies the greatest possible proportion of the warning area set aside for the required warning statement;
  • Be printed in conspicuous and legible Helvetica bold or Arial bold type or other similar sans serif fonts and in black text on a white background or white text on a black background in a manner that contrasts by typography, layout, or color, with all other printed material on the advertisement;
  • Be capitalized and punctuated;
  • Be centered in the warning area in which the text is required to be printed and positioned such that the text of the required warning statement and the other textual information in the advertisement have the same orientation; and
  • Be surrounded by a rectangular border that is the same color as the text of the required warning statement and that is not less than 3 millimeters (mm) or more than 4 mm.

"WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical."


There is no law or regulation that prohibits advertising of guns in newspapers. The general guidelines include not marketing to children or individuals’ underage. The seller assumes responsibly of following the established laws in their practice.


There is no prohibition on newspaper advertisements of fireworks; either for sellers in or out of state.   It is up to the seller and user to assure they are in compliance with state and local laws.   If a newspaper is concerned about an ad, they might require an ad contain language to the affect the offer is “Void where prohibited.”