Last revision: 27 September, 2010
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Advertising Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to all ads appearing on Toronto.Net Search and Directory. In addition, all advertising on Toronto.Net Search and Directory must comply with the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

1. Advertisement Destination (Target link)

  1. Ads that contain a URL or domain in the body must link to that same URL or domain.
  2. Ads must send users to the same landing page when the ad is clicked.
  3. Landing pages cannot generate a pop-up (including "pop-overs" and "pop-unders") when a user enters or leaves the page.
  4. Landing pages cannot use "fake" close behaviour (ie. when a user clicks the 'close' icon on the page, the page should close down and no other behaviour should result).
  5. Landing pages cannot utilize "mouse trapping" whereby the advertiser does not allow users to use their browser "back button" and traps them on their site and/or present any other unexpected behaviour (for example: navigation to another ad or page).
  6. Ads cannot require viewers to click on the ad to submit Personally Identifiable Information (such as name, date of birth, phone numbers, social security number, physical addresses, or email addresses) on the landing page or in the ad, except to enable an ecommerce transaction and where the ad and landing page clearly indicate that a product is being sold.

2. Ad Text and Image Content

  1. Ads must directly relate to the content on the landing page.
  2. Ads must clearly represent the company, product, or brand that is being advertised. Products or services promoted in the ad must be directly available on the landing page.
  3. Ads must not include unsubstantiated claims, including but not limited to prices, discounts or product availability.
  4. Ads cannot insult, harass, or threaten a user.
  5. Ads must not contain audio that plays automatically, without a user's interaction. Any automated animation must cease after 15 seconds and must not replay.

Prohibited (inappropriate) Content

  1. Ads must not be false, misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive.
  2. Ads will not be permitted in cases where a business model or practice is deemed unacceptable to Toronto.Net overall advertising approach.
  3. Ads, or categories of ads, which receive a significant amount of negative user feedback, or are otherwise deemed in violation of community standards will not be permitted.
  4. Ads cannot contain, facilitate, promote, or reference the following:
    1. Offensive, profane, vulgar, obscene or inappropriate language;
    2. Obscene, defamatory, libellous, slanderous and/or unlawful content;
    3. Tobacco products;
    4. Alcoholic beverages;
    5. Ammunition, firearms, paintball guns, bb guns, or weapons of any kind;
    6. Gambling, including without limitation, any online casino, sports books, bingo, or poker without authorization from Toronto.Net;
    7. Scams, illegal activity, or chain letters;
    8. Get rich quick and other money making opportunities that offer compensation for little or no investment, including "work from home" opportunities positioned as alternatives to part-time or full-time employment or promises of monetary gain with no strings attached;
    9. Adult content, including nudity, sexual terms and/or images of people in positions or activities that are excessively suggestive or sexual, or provocative images in violation of community standards;
    10. Adult friend finders or dating sites with a sexual emphasis;
    11. Adult toys, videos, or other adult products;
    12. Uncertified pharmaceutical products;
    13. Web-based non-accredited colleges that offer degrees;
    14. Inflammatory religious content;
    15. Politically religious agendas and/or any known associations with hate, criminal and/or terrorist activities;
    16. Content that exploits political agendas or uses "hot button" issues for commercial use regardless of whether the advertiser has a political agenda;
    17. Hate speech, whether directed at an individual or a group, and whether based upon the race, sex, creed, national origin, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or language of such individual or group;
    18. Content that advocates against any organization, person, or group of people, with the exception of candidates running for public office;
    19. Content that depicts a health condition in a derogatory or inflammatory way or misrepresents a health condition in any way.
  5. Ads cannot contain, facilitate or promote 'spam' or other advertising or marketing content that violates applicable laws, regulations or industry standards.
  6. Ads must not contain or link directly or indirectly to a site that contains spyware/malware downloads, whether initiated automatically or manually by the user, or other auto-initiated downloads.
  7. Ads cannot include content that might appeal to (or mislead) minors by implying that the consumption of alcoholic beverages is fashionable or the accepted course of behaviour for those who are underage.
  8. Ads cannot promote any giveaways as a reward for purchasing the alcoholic product.

Targeting

  1. Any targeting of ads based on a user attribute, such as age, gender, location, or interest, must be directly relevant to the offer, and cannot be done by a method inconsistent with privacy and data policies.
  2. Ads with adult themes, including contraception, sex education, and health conditions must be targeted to individuals at least 18 years old.
  3. Ads for dating sites, services, or related content must follow these targeting criteria:
    1. the Relationship Status targeting parameter must be utilized and set to Single;
    2. the Sex targeting parameter must be utilized and a single value of Male or Female must be selected;
    3. the Age targeting parameter must be utilized and the age range selected must start at least at 18 years old;
    4. the Interested In targeting parameter must be utilized and a single value of either Men or Women must be selected.

Other

Grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and spacing

  1. Ad text must be grammatically correct and contain proper sentence structure.
  2. Ad text must be in complete sentences.
  3. Ads cannot include excessive repetition (such as "sale, sale, sale").
  4. Ads must use correct spelling.
  5. Ad text must include grammatically correct spacing.

Capitalization

  1. Ads must use proper, grammatically correct capitalization (such as capitalizing the first letter of all proper nouns and capitalizing the title of the ad).
  2. Ads cannot include excessive capitalization (such as "FREE") or incorrect capitalization (such as capitalizing the first letter of every word in a sentence).
  3. Acronyms may be capitalized.

Punctuation

  1. Ads must include logical, correct punctuation.
  2. Ads cannot contain repeated and unnecessary punctuation (such as "Buy now!!!").
  3. All complete sentences (including if the ad title is a complete sentence) must end with a single punctuation mark. Sentences cannot end with ellipses, dashes, etc.
  4. Exclamation points cannot be used in the title of any ad.

Symbols

  1. The use of all symbols, numbers, or letters must adhere to the true meaning of the symbol.
  2. Ads cannot contain repeated and unnecessary symbols (such as “*************”).
  3. Symbols cannot be used for the following:
    1. To substitute for letters (e.g. "$ave" instead of "save");
    2. To substitute for entire words (e.g. "&" instead of "and" or "$" instead of "cash/dollars/money");
    3. As unnecessary abbreviations to shorten character count (e.g. "w/" instead of "with" or "@" instead of "at").
  4. Symbols may be used for the following:
    1. If the symbol is part of the product or brand name;
    2. If the $ symbol is paired with a dollar amount (e.g. "Save $100 today");
    3. If the # symbol is used for comparative phrases (e.g. "Voted the #1 site by NY Times").