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Advertising Policy

Bedford Borough Council Advertising Policy

1. Introduction

This Bedford Borough Council (“Council”) policy, unless otherwise apparent from the context, includes advertising on both the Council’s website and any other Council assets.

2. General approach

a) Bedford Borough Council is looking to maximise revenue from advertising and wherever possible, in accordance with this policy, will therefore permit advertising on its website and other assets.

b) Acceptance of any advertisement does not imply endorsement of any particular products or offers, or that the Council is responsible for their quality and reliability. The Council accepts no liability for loss or damage arising out of or in connection to any advertisement.

c) The Council may not accept any advertising from any organisation that may be deemed to be in ‘competition’ or have a conflict of interest with services provided by the Council, its partners, its approved suppliers or other public sector organisations. Nor will it accept advertising that is contrary to the Council’s core business objectives. Decisions on this will be at the Council’s sole discretion.

d) The Council reserves the right to remove advertising at short notice should the subject matter be likely to appear insensitive/cause offence, particularly but not exclusively in the light of local or national events, e.g. natural disasters, missing children, etc.

e) The Council reserves the right to refuse advertisements from Legal or quasi Legal organisations who limit their services to a specific area of law (for example, claims relating to personal injury).

f) The Council will take advice and consider carefully whether to accept advertising from any organisation that is in dispute with the Council for any reason, such as Legal, or financial, or where association with the organisation may compromise the work or reputation of the Council or its partners. 

3. Prohibited products, services and advertisers

a) All advertisers must comply with controls put in place by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) which is an independent body set up by the advertising industry to police the rules laid down in advertising codes. The ASA works to ensure that all advertisements are legal, decent, honest and truthful.

b) Advertisements from the following organisations or in respect of the following products and services etc. will not be accepted:

i) Organisations including but not limited to the following:

  • Political organisations or those that appear to be designed to affect public support (for example, lobbying or petitions) for any political party.
  • Manufacturers or suppliers or wholesalers of tobacco products.
  • Manufacturers or suppliers or wholesalers of alcohol products.
  • Organisations associated or connected directly or indirectly with ‘adult industries’.
  • Religion
  • Organisations that simply offer entry into a competition following completion of a form containing or requiring personal information, or similar.
  • Legal or quasi legal organisations who limit the services they provide to a specific area of law (for example claims relating to personal injury).

ii) Information about, but not limited to, the following:

  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Weaponry
  • Pornography
  • Adult content
  • Religious
  • Short term lending
  • Advertisements where a benefit is promoted in the advertisement but access to the benefit is denied to UK
  • citizens.

Special or political material which is contentious or which conflicts with the Council’s policies, values or statutory obligations (for example, equalities legislation)

c) The decision of the Council in relation to any exclusion is final.

d) Advertising space on the website and on other assets is limited and so preference will be given to Businesses based in the Borough.

e) As the Council wishes to encourage the development of Businesses and promote the use of services, amenities and facilities within the Borough, advertising space will normally only be provided for Businesses wishing to invest in or promote investment within the Borough and/or advertisements that are likely to promote the use of services, amenities and facilities in the Borough and contribute to the economic well-being of the Borough.

4. Style and content of advertising

a) The Council has an open approach to styles of advertising.

b) Advertisers must recognise that public sector organisations cannot permit advertising which could reasonably be construed as being either

i. directly or indirectly sexual in nature and/or which features partial or complete nudity and/or which appears to promote or give undue publicity to illegal or inappropriate behaviour or lifestyles.

ii. Special or political material which is contentious or which conflicts with the Council’s policies, values or statutory obligations (for example, equalities legislation)

a) The Council will approach apparent humour in submitted advertising with the utmost caution since humour can sometimes directly or indirectly be seen as mocking specific groups of citizens or potentially poking fun at particular types of individuals or their behaviour or in relation to various situations. However, the Council will permit ‘innocent humour’, providing the Council considers there is no likely innuendo or subtext which might cause offence.

b) Advertising which the Council deems to be critical of the Council, its amenities, facilities, services and policies and/or, its Members/officers or its agents and partners will not be permitted.

c) The Council’s logo shall not be incorporated into any advertisement without the prior written consent of the Council.

d) It is the responsibility of the advertiser to check the correctness of their advertisement before it is uploaded on to the Council’s website or sent to print.

e) The Council will endeavour to meet the advertiser’s requirement for preferred positioning but the Council will make the final decision on such positioning.

f) The Council reserves the right to edit advertorial material or adverts that it considers look like advertorial by including a border or an ‘advertorial’ header to ensure readers are aware that the text is not part of any Council’s editorial.

All correspondence about advertising with Bedford Borough Council, including approaches from potential advertisers, should be addressed to the Council’s Communications and Marketing team:

beth.bowmer@bedford.gov.uk (01234 228411) or
keiron.fletcher@bedford.gov.uk  (01234 276277)

Beth Bowmer
Marketing and Sponsorship Officer
Communications and Marketing

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