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virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Political Campaign Advertisements

§ 24.2-957.1 Requirements for television advertisements sponsored by a candidate or candidate campaign committee

Statute

It shall be unlawful for any candidate or a candidate campaign committee to sponsor a television advertisement that constitutes an expenditure or contribution required to be disclosed under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) unless the following requirements are met:

1. It bears the legend or includes the statement: “Paid for by _______________ [Name of candidate or campaign committee].” Alternatively, if the advertisement is supporting that candidate and the advertisement makes no reference to any other clearly identified candidate, then the statement “Paid for by _______________ [Name of sponsor]” may be replaced by the statement “Authorized by _______________ [Name of sponsor].”

The disclosure shall be made by visual legend, which shall constitute 20 scan lines in size. The content of these visual legends is specified by the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 317 and this section.

2. If the advertisement sponsored by the candidate or the candidate campaign committee makes reference to another clearly identified candidate, it must include a disclosure statement spoken by the sponsoring candidate containing at least the following words: “I am _______________ (or ‘This is _______________’) [Name of candidate], candidate for [Name of] office, and I (or ‘my campaign’) sponsored this ad.”

The candidate or the candidate campaign committee may provide the oral disclosure statement required by this section at the same time as the visual disclosure required under the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 317, is shown.

3. The advertisement shall include throughout the disclosure statement an unobscured, full-screen picture containing the candidate, either in photographic form or through the actual appearance of the candidate on camera.

4. The candidate or the campaign committee may place the disclosure statement required by this section at any point during the advertisement, except if the duration of the advertisement is more than five minutes, the disclosure statement shall be made both at the beginning and end of the advertisement.

5. In its oral disclosure statement, the sponsor may choose to identify an advertisement as either supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates.

6. If an advertisement is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall include the names of all the sponsors and the candidate shall be the disclosing individual. If more than one candidate is the sponsor, at least one of the candidates shall be the disclosing individual.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-944; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

Definition [Television]

Any television broadcast station, cable television system, wireless-cable multipoint distribution system, satellite company, or telephone company transmitting video programming that is subject to the provisions of 47 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 317.

Definition [Unobscured]

The only printed material that may appear on the television screen is a visual disclosure statement required by law, and that nothing is blocking the view of the disclosing person’s face.

Definition [Expenditure]

Money and services of any amount, and any other thing of value, paid, loaned, provided, or in any other way disbursed by any candidate, campaign committee, political committee, or person for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or by any inaugural committee for the purpose of defraying the costs of the inauguration of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General.

Definition [Full-screen]

The only picture appearing on the television screen during the oral disclosure statement that (i) contains the disclosing person, (ii) occupies all visible space on the television screen, and (iii) contains the image of the disclosing person that occupies at least 50% of the vertical height of the television screen.

Definition [Contribution]

Money and services of any amount, in-kind contributions, and any other thing of value, given, advanced, loaned, or in any other way provided to a candidate, campaign committee, political committee, or person for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or to an inaugural committee for the purpose of defraying the costs of the inauguration of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General. “Contribution” includes money, services, or things of value in any way provided by a candidate to his own campaign and the payment by the candidate of a filing fee for any party nomination method.

Definition [Advertisement]

Any message appearing in the print media, on television, or on radio that constitutes a contribution or expenditure under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.). “Advertisement” shall not include novelty items authorized by a candidate including, but not limited to, pens, pencils, magnets, and buttons to be attached to wearing apparel.

Definition [Campaign committee]

The committee designated by a candidate to receive all contributions and make all expenditures for him or on his behalf in connection with his nomination or election.

Definition [Candidate campaign committee]

The committee designated by a candidate to receive all contributions and make all expenditures for him or on his behalf in connection with his nomination or election.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Definition [Sponsor]

A candidate, candidate campaign committee, political committee, or person that purchases an advertisement.

Definition [Election]

A general, primary, or special election.

Definition [Candidate]

A person who seeks or campaigns for an office of the Commonwealth or one of its governmental units in a general, primary, or special election and who is qualified to have his name placed on the ballot for the office. “Candidate” shall include a person who seeks the nomination of a political party or who, by reason of receiving the nomination of a political party for election to an office, is referred to as its nominee. For the purposes of Chapters 8 (§ 24.2-800 et seq.), 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.), and 9.5 (§ 24.2-955 et seq.), “candidate” shall include any write-in candidate. However, no write-in candidate who has received less than 15 percent of the votes cast for the office shall be eligible to initiate an election contest pursuant to Article 2 (§ 24.2-803 et seq.) of Chapter 8. For the purposes of Chapters 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) and 9.5 (§ 24.2-955 et seq.), “candidate” shall include any person who raises or spends funds in order to seek or campaign for an office of the Commonwealth, excluding federal offices, or one of its governmental units in a party nomination process or general, primary, or special election; and such person shall be considered a candidate until a final report is filed pursuant to Article 3 (§ 24.2-947 et seq.) of Chapter 9.3.

Definition [Scan line]

A standard term of measurement used in the electronic media industry calculating a certain area in a television advertisement.

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