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Accepting ads from competing organizations QT55


Students who sell ads sometimes hesitate to solicit advertising from competing companies. They sometimes have a loyalty to one of their clients or they believe their clients will be frustrated if their competitor is also advertising in the same publication.

This is a good problem to have. Too many advertisers want to support your publication, and you should encourage a forum for advertising that is as robust as your editorial content. Sure, consider guidelines in terms of where ads from competing companies will be placed, but outside of that, create a guideline indicating that each of your advertisers will receive equal and fair treatment and have the same options for size and placement in your paper.

This is a standard practice in the commercial media industry. Competing stores, companies, politicians and organizations show up in the same newspaper, the same commercial block or in the same websites.


The publication will solicit and accept ads from competing organizations and offer the same pricing and placement options to all organizations.

Social media post/question: What to do when two competing organizations want to advertise in your publication?

Stance: Just because an advertiser (even a long-term one) is in your publication does not mean other companies or organizations shouldn’t also have access to your community.

Reasoning/suggestions:  Frequently, two competing organizations will want to advertise in your publication. What do you do when you have two pizza franchises, two driving schools, two gas stations or Planned Parenthood and a right-to-life organization that want to advertise?

The best newspapers serve their community with an open exchange of ideas and information, and they should treat advertising the same way. Professional publications have always accepted ads from competing companies (department stores, grocery stores, car dealerships, and etc.) and your product should be no different.


Student Media Guide to Advertising Law, SPLC


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