This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.
Approved By: President
Original Approval Date: July 1, 1997
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: August 9, 2021
Office of Accountability: Vice-President, Advancement and External Relations
Administrative Responsibility: Advancement & External Relations - Advancement Services
1.01 This policy establishes a best practice framework for the creation of productive advertising and sponsorship relationships between the Wilfrid Laurier University (“Laurier” or “University”) and external organizations or individuals, in a manner consistent with the University’s mission, vision, values, and brand standards. This framework is also intended to encourage collaboration, information sharing, and record keeping among University groups seeking advertising/sponsorship revenue while fostering the success of all University groups.
1.02 The University supports, in principle, advertising and sponsorship initiatives that generate revenue to support University programs and services as well as offset related costs. It is recognized that such initiatives can provide important financial and marketing support both to potential partners and the University.
1.03 This policy defines the types of advertising/sponsorship that the University will accept to ensure that standards are consistent and that the University’s reputation is positively maintained, inclusive of in-kind arrangements.
2.01 Advertising Space: Any physical or digital property owned or managed by Laurier.
2.02 Affiliated Organization: An organization that is formally recognized by the University as (a) federated or affiliated with the University under the Wilfrid Laurier University Act; (b) the representative of a constituent group of the University community. These relationships are normally outlined in a contract or other formal documentation. At present, Affiliated Organizations include the Martin Luther University College, WLUSU, WLUGSA, WLUSP, and WLUAA. Affiliated Organizations are not considered “External Organizations” as defined below.
2.03 Contract: Includes any written agreement, contract, subcontract, letter of intent, memorandum of understanding, memorandum of agreement, lease, deed, grant, license, purchase order, certificate, instrument, assignment, or any other document which creates an obligation or which may be binding on the University (monetary and non-monetary).
2.04 Contract Research: Contract research is research undertaken according to a specific written agreement between the university and a sponsoring external party.
2.05 External Organization: Any third party, external organization and/or business.
2.06 Gift: Means any voluntary transfer of real or personal property, including in kind property, from individuals, organizations or other sources (“donor”) to the University. A gift is made without expectation of return or benefit to the donor or any individual or organization designated by the donor as a result of acceptance of the gift.
2.07 Paid Advertising: Paid-for promotion of products or services by an external organization through advertising space on University property, or at events in conjunction with a University program.
2.08 Publication: Any product in print or other media, produced by or for the University.
2.09 Research Grants: Support for the direct costs of research projects including for the training of researchers and/or activities that support the translation of research findings, conducted by either an investigator working alone or by a group of investigators working together. This includes research grants from any grantee including industry, government, individuals, foundation or agency.
2.10 Sponsorship: The University receives a fee or other consideration from an External Organization in exchange for market exposure and/or favoured products or corporate profile. Funds provided to the University through sponsorships do not include Gifts, as defined above, and are therefore not eligible for charitable income tax receipts in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency Regulations.
2.11 University Property: All University-owned, leased or managed property including all land, buildings, vehicles, playing fields, signage units, screens, web sites, publications, facilities and equipment, etc.
3.01 This policy applies to all Laurier faculty, staff, students, volunteers, affiliated organizations and external organizations who are involved in advertising/sponsorship activity on behalf of the University or in University advertising space.
3.02 This policy applies to all sponsorships and paid advertising for the University, inclusive of funding:
3.02.01 Tied to programs within specific administrative departments or academic areas of study or research.
3.02.02 Tied to a specific campus or a university-wide initiative.
3.02.03 Tied to symposia and other time-limited projects.
3.02.04 Tied to events.
3.02.05 In-kind, including but not limited to venue rental, materials, equipment and products.
3.02.06 Included in larger operating agreements or contracts that may have an advertising or sponsorship component.
3.03 This policy does not apply to:
3.03.01 Gifts, Contract Research, and Research Grants.
3.03.02 Situations where Laurier acts as a sponsor or advertiser for an external organization or activity.
3.03.03 Notices, posters, bulletin boards and other unpaid advertising on campus is governed by 4.6 Bulletin Boards and Temporary Signage and Notices.
3.04 Subject to any contractual requirements, this policy applies to all University Property, and to co-owned and co-occupied properties.
4.01 The following are the fundamental principles that shape Laurier’s relationships with advertisers and/or sponsors:
4.01.01 Advertising/Sponsorship will not entitle any advertiser or sponsor to influence any academic or business decision of the University.
4.01.02 The University will not enter into any advertising/sponsorship relationships where the association with the prospective partner or acceptance of the advertising/sponsorship would interfere with any financial or legal obligation of the University or adversely impact the University’s standing and reputation in the community.
4.01.03 The University will be guided by the same principles for acceptance of sponsorships as for the acceptance of gifts as stated in 4.01 of 13.6 Gift Acceptance Policy.
4.01.04 The University will accept Sponsorships as an additional source of revenue, provided that all sponsorship alliances are developed and maintained in accordance with this Advertising and Sponsorship Policy and procedures.
4.01.05 All advertising/sponsorship contracts must comply with all University policies and existing legal obligations.
a. Exclusivity provisions should be avoided. All exclusivity provisions must be approved by university legal counsel.
4.01.06 Good taste and sound judgement shall govern all advertising on campus. Advertising shall support the aesthetics of our campuses.
5.01 All sponsorship and advertising relationships must be negotiated and approved in accordance with Policy 5.7 Signing Authority and any other applicable procurement or financial policy or procedure.
5.02.01 All existing and prospective sponsorship relationships with the University must be identified and recorded with Development. See Sponsorship Procedures related to 13.3 Advertising and Sponsorship Policy.
5.02.02 All sponsorship arrangements must be in writing and clearly set out the terms and obligations. Further, sponsorship agreements will be developed in consultation with Development, as per the policy’s associated procedures.
5.03.01 Paid advertising content must align with University values. The University retains the right to approve all related materials.
5.03.02 All advertising arrangements must be in writing and clearly set out the terms and obligations in a contract.
5.03.03 Advertising shall not be featured:
a. In teaching spaces;
b. Where it may impede ordinary pedestrian or vehicular traffic flow, where it may negatively impact safety; or
c. Where it detracts from the normal architectural appearance, visual beauty or environment of the campus.
5.03.04 Paid advertising shall not promote:
a. Cannabis, tobacco, and gambling products or services. This does not preclude the University from partnering with or accepting sponsorship from organizations that offer these products or services;
c. Disrespectful references including but not limited to: obscene, pornographic, vulgar, libelous, racist, sexist, homophobic in nature, sexual services, or any other reference that is contrary to human rights legislation;
d. Fundraising advertisements for organizations other than Laurier, unless otherwise approved by the executive leadership of the university;
e. Religious or political messages; or
f. A political party or election candidate beyond that of elected University offices.
5.04 Committee on Advertising
5.04.01 There shall be a Committee on Advertising, whose primary responsibility is to monitor activity related to advertising, and to respond to complaints and concerns of officially recognized campus organizations.
5.04.02 The committee will ensure compliance with this policy and make recommendations regarding the interpretation and application of this policy, by members of groups facilitating advertising on behalf of the University. The committee will report to the Vice-President: Advancement and External Relations. For further information on the committee see the Terms of Reference.