University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

University Secretariat and Legal Counsel
University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

Advertising and Commercial Activity Framework and Guiding Principles For Developing a New Policy

November, 2002

I. Background

Queen's University is committed to seeking non-philanthropic corporate support for its mission. To help achieve this objective, it will actively seek out selected opportunities for advertising, sponsorship and commercial activities.

Policy established in this area will recognize the importance of attracting non-philanthropic corporate revenues to enable the university to fulfill its mission of teaching, research, and community service. Commercial enterprise on campus and non-philanthropic corporate support can provide significant benefits to the university and to its learning environment, but it must be judged to be consistent with the core values of the university and its academic objectives. New policy must therefore balance the need to protect the university against inappropriate corporate involvement, and the need to be fair-minded and reasonable in assessing the value/benefits that corporate involvement may bring.

II. Scope

The policy will cover all advertising, sponsorship or commercial activity where non-philanthropic revenue is generated. All other forms of advertising are covered under Queen's University Signage Policy, in particular the section on temporary signs.

III. Definitions

The policy will cover university facilities and all university-sponsored media, including the World Wide Web. For the purpose of implementing policy, the following definitions may be useful:

  1. An advertisement is a message created and displayed for the sole purpose of promoting a corporation or its product.

  2. Sponsorship recognition acknowledges non-philanthropic corporate support for a project, program or event. Material containing such acknowledgements will focus primarily on the project, program or event being supported.

  3. Commercial activity refers to any revenue-making or fundraising activity on campus by an outside business or organization.

IV. Rationale

This document has been prepared to ensure that new policy developed in this area adheres to the following principles:

  1. that informed and reasonable decisions are made on the acceptance of advertising, commercial activity or corporate sponsorship and that revenues generated from such activity is appropriately recorded and tracked.

  2. that revenue from such activity is distributed appropriately to support the mission and goals of the University.

  3. that the approval policy which is developed is administratively sound and efficient, consistent, transparent, and consultative.

V. Policy for Acceptance of Corporate Support

  1. Queen's University holds itself to a high standard of ethical conduct, both within its own community of scholars, students, alumni and employees, and in all of its external relationships and interactions - with businesses and commercial enterprises, with other external organizations, and with friends and donors.

  2. In particular, the University will not enter into business relationships, or accept external support that will compromise its public image or commitment to its academic mission and essential values as articulated in the University's "Principles and Priorities" (Senate document, 1996).

  3. Queen's University values and will protect its integrity, autonomy and academic freedom, and does not enter into business relationships or accept external support when any condition of such an arrangement would compromise these fundamental principles.

VI. Approval Process

An approval process still needs to be developed. The sub-committee recommends that this be done jointly by the Vice-Principal (Advancement) and the Vice-Principal (Academic) or their delegates. Currently, much of the revenue-generating advertising and commercial activity on campus flows through the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs for review and decision. If a new or amended process is developed, then the Dean of Student Affairs must be closely involved in these discussions. There should be consultation as well with important stakeholders such as Alumni Affairs, Athletic Teams, AMS and SGPS.

VII. Limitations and Restrictions

New policy established in this area will outline specific restrictions that may apply such as the following:

  1. Advertising and any other commercial activity will not be permitted in classrooms or laboratories or any other space specifically devoted to academic purposes.

  2. Advertising and commercial activity must not impede ordinary pedestrian or vehicular traffic flow and must not in any way detract from the normal architectural appearance, visual beauty or environment of the campus.

  3. Good taste and sound judgment shall govern all advertising, sponsorship and commercial activities on campus. In particular, all such activities must conform to Queen's Statement of Ethical Conduct. The following are specifically prohibited:

    • Anything promoting illegal activity

    • Anything that is inconsistent with University policies dealing with discrimination and harassment or contrary to provincial human rights legislation

    • All advocacy advertisements, except those whose sole purpose is to promote education

    • Any advertisements promoting tobacco products or alcohol products (except as permitted in the Queen's Alcohol Policy)

    • Anything promoting the sale of sexual services

VIII. Publications

Revenue from advertisements placed in University publications shall be used to support those publications.

IX. Ancillary Services

Ancillary services are delegated responsibility for managing commercial activities and advertising programs relating to their core business activities but other ventures and those with potential for wider application must conform to the approval process once it is developed.

X. John Deutsch University Centre

The JDUC Council is responsible for managing commercial activities and advertising in parts of the JDUC as specified in their Commercial Sales Policy and Room Reservations Policy, as approved by JDUC council on November 18, 1993. Commercial activities and advertising with university-wide application must conform to the approval policy once it is developed.