All advertising expenditures and purchases, regardless of cost, require prior approvals from the Division of Strategic Communications or Human Resource Management and Procurement.
A requisition and purchase order are required, unless prior approval is granted by Procurement. On a case-by-case basis when the cost is less than $5000, Procurement may authorize the department to use LaCarte or direct charge invoice process in lieu of the requisition/purchase order process. In such cases, Procurement’s approval must accompany the LaCarte BF or Direct Charge invoice.
Advertising 101 is a step-by-step quick reference on approvals and process flow. Advertising law, policy, procedure, process flow, and typical applications are discussed below in detail.
State Advertising Law
R.S. 43:111 expressly prohibits the expenditure of public funds for advertising in any media; except for limited, statutorily defined purposes.
Therefore, all advertising expenditures must have the prior review and approval of Procurement and are subject to close scrutiny by Legislative Auditors.
Procurement is responsible for ensuring legal compliance by denoting all advertisement purchases with the applicable state law of authority. Additionally, we require evidence that the Department has secured approvals per University policies.
University Policy and “Why”
Per policy, Departments must secure prior approval from:
- Division of Strategic Communications for any university or department-related ads, regardless of the media type or form in which the ad appears (see PS-10).
- Human Resource Management (HRM) for employment ads (see PS-1).
- Procurement to determine ad’s legal authority.
The Department is responsible for securing applicable Strategic Communications or HRM approval prior to submitting ad paperwork to Procurement.
The Division of Strategic Communications must review, edit & approve all non-employment ads, whether general or department-specific in nature and purpose.
Per PS-10, Strategic Communications is charged with ensuring that all advertisements contribute favorably to the image of the university and are consistent with defined standards relative to content, format, graphics, etc, regardless of media type.
HRM must review, edit & approve employment ads for content, format and language per PS-1, to ensure protection and legal compliance with all current federal, state & local employment requirements, i.e. EEOC, ADA, University/Civil Service, etc.
Note: HRM approval is not required for internships or residencies; however, such ads must include current/appropriate EEOC and ADA language.
Procurement must identify and document statutory and policy compliance as discussed above. Additionally, some Vendors may require a signature of authorization on their pre-printed “Advertisement Agreement” or similar insertion order form.
Note: Departments are not authorized to sign any Vendor forms that constitute a binding purchase agreement. Only the Director of Procurement has the authority to sign any such Vendor agreements/forms on behalf of the university.
Definition of “Advertisement”
State law and University policy apply to any type of advertisement or external communication, regardless of the intended purpose and regardless of media type (e.g. newspapers, periodicals, journals, television, radio, billboards, websites, etc). Advertisements include, but are not limited to:
- Announcements of employment opportunities
- Public notice of bid opportunities
- Announcements of LSU or department-hosted or sponsored seminars, workshops, conferences, etc.
- Announcements of department-specific curriculum and/or programs intended for recruitment or promotional purposes
- Announcements of department-specific events intended for the educational or cultural benefit of the public
- LSU or department listings in directories of any type (general or professional)
- Announcements for the promotion/sale of University products, including books, agricultural produce, surplus property, etc.
- Announcements for the promotion/rental of University-owned facilities or properties, including residential housing, golf course, etc.
Advertising Procedure / Process Flow
The process flow for the request, approval and purchase of advertising is outlined below. Your adherence will expedite and avoid unnecessary delays in processing your advertising needs.
- Department identifies a ‘need’ for an advertisement that complies with a statutorily defined and authorized purpose. [Department is instructed to consult with Procurement Services if unsure of ad’s legal authority under R.S. 43:111.]
- Department secures prior approval from the Division of Strategic Communications or Human Resource Management (as applicable) for the advertisement relative to content/text, format, design, graphics, etc. Approval request shall be sent to Strategic Communications via email@example.com.
- Upon Strategic Communications/HRM approval, the department secures a signed price
quote or published rate card/insertion order form from the Vendor.
- Note: A Vendor’s pre-printed advertising agreement/insertion order form which requires signature cannot be signed by the department, and must be forwarded to Procurement for review, edit and signature.
- Department submits to Procurement a complete package consisting of: an approved Requisition*,
evidence of Strategic Communications or HRM approval, price source, any applicable vendor advertising agreement/insertion
order form, and any other relative supporting documents.
- On a case-by-case basis when the cost is less than $5000, Procurement may authorize the department to use LaCarte or direct charge invoice in lieu of the requisition/purchase order process. In such cases, Procurement’s approval must accompany the LaCarte BF or Direct Charge invoice.
- To assist us in determining and documenting the legal authority under R.S. 43:111, your request should include a draft or final version of the advertisement copy, or in absence thereof, must minimally include a general statement of purpose for the ad.
- Price source is evidenced by a vendor’s quote, its published rate schedule or insertion
order form, reference to a university advertising term contract, etc.
- Advertising Commodity Codes
- 915-02 Notices of Bid Solicitation
- 915-04 Billboard and Internet Advertising
- 915-14 Radio Advertising
- 915-15 Television Advertising
- 915-71 Newspaper and Publication Advertising
- Object Code: 3010
- Advertising Commodity Codes
- Procurement reviews requisition package, and if in order, denotes statutory authority and issues a Purchase Order or LaCarte/Direct Charge approval.
It is the Department’s responsibility to obtain the applicable approvals and signatures prior to committing funds for any advertisement. Post-submittals not evidencing the appropriate prior approvals may result in disapproval, and the department may be required to use non-public funds for payment.
Chapter 3. State Advertisements
§111. Advertising; when prohibited and when authorized
[Note: Only those statutorily authorized advertisements applicable to the University are discussed below.]
A. The state, or any department, officer, board or commission shall not expend any public funds for advertising in any newspaper, book, pamphlet, periodical, or radio and television stations except as follows:
(1) Advertising for bids or proposals for public work, supplies, or for labor.
[Typical applications: Public notice of request for bids/proposals by Procurement; LSU employment opportunities by HRM/Departments; non-employment recruitment of research study participants, art models, etc]
(3) Advertising for the sale by educational institutions of books, equipment, produce, or other materials.
[Typical applications: Ads to promote the sale of: LSU Athletic events, LSU Press publications, LSU Ag Center products, surplus property, rental housing, etc]
(4) Announcements by educational institutions of extension course offerings.
[Typical applications: Ads by Departments (such as Continuing Education or MBA) to announce program/curriculum offerings requiring an ‘extended’ period of time for completion and which result in college credits and/or professional certifications; does not apply to ads for Department seminars, workshops, conferences, etc]
(6) Announcements by departments or auxiliary units of institutions of higher education, to promote cultural or educational programs sponsored by such departments or units for the public's cultural and intellectual benefit, limited to a maximum of fifteen percent of the cost of the event or three thousand dollars, whichever is larger.
[Typical applications: Ads by Departments to announce and promote hosted events such as short-term seminars, workshops, conferences or pleasure courses (non-credit & credit), musicals and plays, etc, for the public’s cultural or intellectual benefit.]
(10) Other cases where the law authorizes advertisements.
[Consult Procurement for statutory authorizations under R.S. 43:111.A(10).]
C. However, any public institution of higher education, any management board thereof, and the Board of Regents may expend public funds for advertising designed for any of the following purposes: (1) Increase the number of other race students enrolled in a public institution of higher education. (2) Increase the percentage of black high school graduates that pursue a higher education; provided that such advertising expenditures shall not exceed the amounts necessary to implement the provisions of the consent decree entered in United States of America vs. State of Louisiana, et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, docket number 80-3300-A. (3) Promote the goals established in the Master Plan for Public Postsecondary Education. (4) Promote the services and programs offered by learning centers.
[Typical Applications: Ads by Communications and University Relations, Admissions, etc, for the intended purposes stated above, including student recruitment.]
D. (1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary and in addition to the exceptions provided by Subsection A of this Section and the authority provided by Subsection C of this Section, a public postsecondary educational institution annually may expend up to one-half of one percent of its total operating budget or one hundred thousand dollars, whichever amount is less, on advertising, provided such advertising is in furtherance of the duties and functions of the institution.
(2) Expenditures for advertising by a public postsecondary educational institution pursuant to Paragraphs (1) through (6) of Subsection A of this Section and Subsection C of this Section shall be excluded from calculating annual expenditures for advertising pursuant to this Subsection.
[It is the responsibility of Procurement to record all advertising expenditures under R.S. 43:111.D and to provide an annual report for audit purposes.]