4237 Procedure – Contests, Advertising and Promotions

The following procedures place restrictions on commercial advertising, marketing, corporate sponsorship and the use of logos to protect Bellingham Public Schools from exploitation and to ensure commercial activities don’t interfere with the educational program. The district defines commercial advertising and marketing as oral, written or graphic information made by a for-profit producer, manufacturer or seller that calls for a recipient to buy, use or patronize the product or service. This includes marketing information such as coupons for free/donated or discounted products/services to promote a commercial enterprise. Brand names, trademarks, logos or tags for product/service identification purposes or for district/school recognition of sponsors are not considered commercial advertising.

Commercial advertising on district/school property (including on district-owned signage, scoreboard, readerboards, building facades, walls, floors, fields or vehicles) or distribution of commercial advertising by the district/schools is not permitted, except in these cases:

  1. Advertising is permitted in connection with courses of study that have specific lessons related to advertising. Principals will decide whether lessons related to advertising are appropriate.
  2. Advertising is permitted in yearbooks and school newspapers if it is consistent with the district’s goals and policies and is approved by the principal. (Advertising is not permitted in other district/school-sponsored print or electronic publications.)
  3. Advertising is permitted in supplementary classroom and library materials such as newspapers, magazines, television, internet and similar media where used in a class such as current events or for appropriate research.
  4. Advertising is permitted as part of some PTA or booster club fundraising such as children’s book and magazine sales, if it aligns with the district’s goals and policies and is approved by the principal. (Advertising is not permitted for PTA or booster club fundraising that involves materials for use at school, signage, readerboard, etc.)

No corporate relationship is permitted that requires students to advertise a product, service, company or industry. This includes athletic uniforms and equipment, although uniforms and equipment may display the name or logo of the uniform and equipment manufacturer or supplier. See specific restrictions on use of logos.

District/schools will not require students to complete surveys or provide marketing information to vendors, nor will they distribute to vendors any personal information of students including but not limited to directory information, except as required by law. District/schools will not enter into any contract for products or services, including electronic media services, where service providers will collect personal information from students.

Logos for Identification Only or District/School Recognition of Sponsors: All corporate logos appearing on district property, including logos on materials, supplies, or equipment either purchased, rented, leased by or donated to the district will be for product identification or sponsor recognition purposes only. Corporate logos for the purpose of advertising to students will not be permitted on district property, materials, supplies or equipment. Sponsorship is an agreement between the district/schools, or a site-based or parent-based group with an individual group, company or community organization in which the sponsor provides financial or resource support in exchange for recognition. It is appropriate that corporate sponsors and donors receive recognition for their support. Such recognition can be in the form of the corporate name or logo for identification purposes on the product or information, or acknowledgement in district/school publications and events. The district/schools, at the discretion of the administrator, may choose to provide incentives or mementos of nominal value with corporate logo identification for the purpose of recognizing individual students and staff. The superintendent or designee and principals in the schools are the primary decision-makers whether a sponsor identification logo is identification or advertising purposes using the following criteria: size and location of logo compared with the intended use of the information, and age of students who will view it.

Vending Machines: Facades will not be used for advertising. The name and logo of product manufacturers, such as the juice or water makers, can appear for identification purposes only.

Prohibited Contracts: Contracts for sales of food or beverages will not permit the distribution of free products or vendor-related advertising and promotional materials or events.

Approved By: Greg Baker, Superintendent of Schools
Adopted/Previous Revisions: 03/15/13
Updated: 07/06/16
Superintendent or Board Approved: Superintendent Approved