Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Communications by City Candidate Committees for their own Election

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I. Communications by City Candidate Committees for their own Election

The disclaimer must include, unless otherwise noted:

“Paid for by committee nameand “Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org.”

Example: “Paid for by Doe for Supervisor 2018. Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org.”

CommunicationDisclaimer and Manner of Display
All mass mailings  (more than 200 sent within a calendar month)
  • “Paid for by [name of committee]” and “Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org” – must be in at least 12- point font
  • Committee name, address (as listed on Form 410), and SFEC website reference on outside of mailing in no less than 12-point, font and in contrasting print color
    • Return envelopes (included in solicitation) – committee’s name, address and ID number are recommended but not required
All mass electronic mailings (more than 200 sent within a calendar month)
  • “Paid for by [name of committee]” and “Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org” – must be in at least the same size font as a majority of the text (no address is required on mass electronic mailings)
Telephone calls
(more than 500) – made by vendors (“robo” calls) or paid individuals
  • Paid for by [name of committee]” and “Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org” – must be at least three (3) seconds either at the beginning or end of the call in a clearly spoken manner and in a pitch and tone substantially similar to the rest of the advertisement
  • No disclaimer required for telephone calls personally dialed by candidate, campaign manager or volunteers
Radio
  • “Paid for by [name of committee]” and “Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org” – must be at least three (3) seconds either at beginning or end of the adread in a clearly spoken manner with pitch and tone substantially similar to the rest of advertisement 
Television ads
  • “Paid for by [name of committee]” and “Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org” – must be displayed in writing at least four (4) seconds at the beginning or end of the adLetters must be in a type size greater than or equal to 4 percent of the height of the screenThe required disclosure must also be spoken during the advertisement if the written disclosure appears for less than five (5) seconds of a broadcast of thirty (30) seconds or less or for less than ten (10) seconds of a broadcast of sixty (60) seconds or more. 
Electronic media ads not covered below
  • “Who funded this ad” text as a hyperlink in a contrasting color and font size that is easily readable by the average viewer
  • Must hyperlink to a website containing the “Paid for by [name of committee]” and “Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org” disclaimers in a contrasting color and in no less than 8-point font
  • Must remain online until thirty (30) days after the date of election
Social media ads
  • “Paid for by [name of committee]” and “Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org”
    – must be in a contrasting color and in no less than 8-point font on the committee’s profile, landing page, or similar location (it is not required to include disclaimers on each individual post or comment)

    • Not required when the only expense or cost of the communication is compensated staff time unless the social media account was created only for the purpose of advertisements under the Act
Website
  • “Paid for by [name of committee]” and “Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org” in a contrasting color and in no less than 8-point font
Electronic media ads that are audio only
  • See disclaimer requirements for radio ads above
Print ads designed to be individually distributed including mailings, door hangers, flyers, faxes, posters, newspaper and magazine ads and oversized campaign buttons and bumper stickers (buttons 10 inches in diameter or larger and stickers 60 square inches or larger)
  • “Paid for by [name of committee]” and “Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org” – must be in no less than 12-point font and in a color that has a reasonable degree of contrast with the background of the advertisement
Print Media not designed to be individually distributed (including signs and billboards)
    • “Paid for by [name of committee]” and “Financial disclosures are available at sfethics.org” – must be 5% of height of advertisement in contrasting color

[1] This text is not required if including it is impracticable. In such circumstances the ad need only include a hyperlink to a website containing the website disclaimers.

The guidance above incorporates requirements imposed pursuant to state and San Francisco law.  The information on this chart does not carry the force of law. If there are any discrepancies between the chart and state or local law or their corresponding regulations and opinions, the law, regulations and opinions will control.

Revised: May 2018

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