Policy 1501
University Advertising

Date of Current Revision: November 2016
Primary Responsible Officer: Vice President for University Advancement


The purpose of this policy is to maintain and enhance the consistency of James Madison University’s public image presented in media advertisements, ensure a consistent usage of James Madison University’s visual brand and messaging, maximize the impact of James Madison University’s advertising expenditures by coordinating advertising procurement, and deliver measurable results.


The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia § 23.1-1600. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.


External Advertising (Non-JMU Advertising):
Advertising that depicts or represents the university for the purposes of promoting an outside organization (Example: An advertisement for a car dealership using JMU property and/or images).

General University Advertising:
Paid or earned space in third party media (examples: Daily News-Record, WHSV) featuring JMU as a whole and not specific to any unit, school or program.

Other Advertising:
Typically includes employee recruitment efforts and employment opportunity announcements.

Unit or Event-Specific Advertising:
Advertising to promote university units, programs and special events.


This policy applies to all James Madison University employees and other non-university personnel and/or vendors who prepare official university advertising.

This policy applies to all paid and free advertising, including print, broadcast, web, social media and signage. If there are questions about advertising submissions, please contact the Director of Communications within the Office of University Communications.

Free advertising is covered by this policy if the market value is greater than $100.


In order to maximize volume discounts for university advertising, external advertising agreements are managed by the Office of University Communications and supported by Procurement Services, except in some cases for “other advertising,” employment/recruitment ads. University Athletics Marketing manages advertisement standards and agreements for athletic departments.

All General University Advertising and all unit- or event-specific advertising must be submitted for approval by the Office of University Communications at advertising@jmu.edu no less than two weeks in advance of the specified submission deadline. The Director of Communications reviews all submission for advertising. The Director of University Communications must approve in writing any exceptions to the policy or requests to expedite the two-week advance submission requirement for advertisements.

All university advertising, including General University Advertising, Unit- or Event-specific Advertising, and Other Advertising must comply with all James Madison University Identity System standards as outlined in Policy 1502, as well as all procurement regulations as outlined in Policy 4201.


6.1. General University Advertising is managed through the Office of University Communications. All proposed General University Advertising and accompanying materials, cost and placement information must be submitted to the Office of University Communications at advertising@jmu.edu a minimum of two weeks in advance of specified submission deadline.

6.2. Units that want to place unit- or event-specific advertising may do so and must confer with The Office of University Communications before placing the ad in order to ensure consistency and accuracy of messages, maximization of institutional brand awareness and cost-effectiveness to the university.

6.4. Other Advertising may be managed through the originating unit or program and must adhere to JMU’s visual identity standards. Communications and Marketing has established standards for typical, reoccurring advertisements such as employment opportunities, accessible online at http://www.jmu.edu/identity/index.shtml.

6.5. Information regarding all university advertising via newspaper, radio, television and any alternative media forums will be maintained and updated by Procurement Services. Procurement Services will provide periodic advertising purchase reports to the Director of Communications in the Office of University Communications.


The Director of Communications is responsible for ensuring that consistent university design and copy standards, along with all procurement agreements, are met.

It is the responsibility of the head of a unit to ensure that the information contained in an official university advertisement is accurate and current, and that all new official advertisements for that unit comply with James Madison University Identity System editorial and graphic standards.


Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

Advertisements that do not conform to this policy can be restricted or terminated.


Advertisements placed by the Office of Human Resources for employment-related activities are excluded from the provisions of this policy.

Advertising with a cost of less than $100 per placement are exempt from the provisions of this policy. Free advertising is exempt from this policy if the market value is less than $100.

Advertisements placed in campus media are excluded from the provisions of this policy.

Advertisements specifically for the athletics department are excluded from the provisions of this policy.

Advertising excluded from this policy must still comply with all of the university’s visual identity standards and brand messaging.


The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president and is generally delegated to the Vice President for University Advancement.

Previous Version: December 2013
Approved by the President: December 2013

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