Campaign Advertising - Requirements & Restrictions
Under the Act, candidates and political committees must put disclaimers on campaign advertisements that identify the committee that paid for or authorized the communication. Below are links to advertising disclaimer charts, as well as general information about the requirements for committees that purchase advertisements or circulate materials supporting or opposing a state or local candidate or ballot measure in California.
Advertising Disclaimer Charts
The disclaimer requirements are based on the type of advertisement and who paid for it, and are summarized in the following charts:
- Communications by Candidate Committees for their own Election
- Independent Expenditure Ads on Candidates (except ads by candidates and political party committees)
- Independent Expenditure Ads on Ballot Measures (except ads by candidates and political party committees)
- Independent Expenditure Ads on Ballot Measures by Candidates and Political Party Committees
- Independent Expenditure Ads on Candidates by Candidates and Political Party Committees
- All Non-Independent Expenditure Ads (except ads by candidates and political party committees)
- All Non-Independent Expenditure Ads by Candidates and Political Party Committees
What is an Advertisement?
Advertisements include mass mailings (including blast e-mails), paid telephone calls, radio and television ads, billboards, yard signs, and electronic media ads.
What is a Disclaimer?
A disclaimer is the portion of a political message that identifies the committee that paid for or authorized the communication. “Paid for by [committee name]” is the basic disclaimer required on most campaign communications.
What is a Committee?
A candidate’s campaign committee, a ballot measure committee, a general purpose committee, a political party committee, a slate mailer organization, a major donor, and a person or entity making independent expenditures on candidates or ballot measures in California are all types of committees that may be subject to the Act’s disclaimer requirements.
A person or entity qualifies as a committee under the Act if they receive contributions for political purposes of $2,000 or more per year; if they make independent expenditures on California candidates or ballot measures of $1,000 or more per year; or if they make contributions to California candidates or ballot measures of $10,000 or more per year.
Are the Act's Disclaimer Rules the Same for All Committees and All Ads?
No. Basic disclaimers apply to materials disseminated by a candidate for his or her own election because it is generally clear to the public that the candidate is sending the communication. Stricter disclaimer rules apply to ballot measure and independent expenditure advertisements because it is less clear to the public who is responsible for these ads.