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Advertising policy

Advertising on Council assets and property will be used to raise income to help address funding cuts and the rising costs of providing local public services.

This means advertising will be sold on a range of assets such as buildings, vehicles roundabouts, car parks, toilets, dog bins and lampposts.

This policy is intended to ensure that all advertising on council assets is not only legal and compliant with national codes and legislation but also consistent with the Council’s vision and values.

Plymouth City Council reserve the right to refuse or withdraw advertising or sponsorship if it conflicts with current Council policy, priorities, brand values or key messages.

General principles 

All advertising on Council assets will follow the codes on advertising laid down by the Advertising Authority and the laws relating to local government publicity.

All advertising on Council property or in publications or online must:

  • Comply with the spirit of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations Act 2008, which seek to protect consumers from unfair, misleading or aggressive marketing practices. Therefore, advertising must abide by the codes of conduct laid down by the Advertising Standards Authority, which includes provisions that marketing communications must be legal, decent, honest and truthful.
  • Must not be misleading, offensive, untrue or fraudulent. The suitability of individual advertisers may be checked with the Council's Trading Standards department. The Council will not be responsible for the quality or reliability of the product or services offered within any advertisement.
  • Comply with the Code of Practice on Local Government Publicity.
  • Not be open to interpretation that its appearance on Council property can be seen as an official endorsement of that advertiser's products or services.

Specific restrictions 

Some forms of advertising may be acceptable at certain times but not at others e.g. organisations with current planning applications/contractors bidding for current tenders, organisations in financial or legal conflict with the Council or with local residents over a planned development in the city.

However, the following restrictions will apply at all times. Advertising must not: 

  • Conflict with the Council's aims, priorities or values
    The Council reserves the right to refuse to promote or to remove any individual advertisement which it considers inappropriate
  • Promote payday loans or credit offers (with the exception of credit unions, community based organisations offering access to affordable credit and promoting saving).
  • Include any images or content that potentially exposes children and young people to inappropriate and unnecessary sexualised images.
  • In designing and placing the advertising the advertisers must ensure that their brands do not compete with or detract from the effectiveness and integrity of the Council’s brand or affect or influence the safety of the Highway.
  • Carry content from any of these categories of organisations, products or services:

Prohibited organisations:

  • Lobby groups
  • Payday lenders
  • Manufacturers and distributors of alcohol and tobacco products
  • Manufacturers and distributors of drugs and pharmaceutical products
  • Manufacturers and distributors of weaponry and related products
  • Organisations in financial or legal conflict with the Council
  • Political organisations

Prohibited products and services:

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Gambling and betting/competitions
  • Loans and credit cards
  • Pornography and adult services
  • Tobacco
  • Weaponry or violence
  • Products or services where benefit is precluded from UK citizens

Food and drink products that do not support healthy lifestyle behaviours are prohibited e.g. sweets or junk food. The council reserves the right to refuse advertising for services or products that do no support its campaign to improve the health of Plymouth residents. For example, advertising for fast food outlets that do not offer healthy choices will not be permitted.