What are The New York Times advertising standards?

The New York Times (NYT) is a leading global news organization that has been publishing since 1851. As one of the most prominent media outlets in the world, The NYT has a longstanding reputation for upholding high standards of quality journalism and ethics in all aspects of its operations.

This includes the standards The NYT sets for advertising content that appears alongside its news reporting. The NYT maintains strict policies and guidelines to ensure advertisements meet the company’s standards for accuracy, diversity, transparency and more. These advertising standards help preserve the integrity of The NYT’s journalism while also providing value to readers and advertisers.

This article provides an overview of The New York Times’ key advertising policies across areas like ad acceptance, placement, formats and content. It outlines standards for political, native and data-driven advertising. The report also covers oversight measures and compliance at The NYT when it comes to upholding rigorous advertising principles.

Ad Acceptance Policies

The New York Times has specific policies regarding what types of ads it will accept. According to the Standards of Advertising Acceptability published by The New York Times (source), the newspaper accepts advertisements “that comment on public or controversial issues,” but reserves the right to reject ads that contain fraudulent, misleading, or offensive content.

Some restricted ad categories outlined in the standards include ads for firearms, ammunition, fireworks, gambling, alcohol, and tobacco. All ads are subject to approval and The Times maintains the right to reject any ad at its discretion. Advertisers may be required to substantiate claims made in their ads.

The ad approval process involves review by the legal and editorial departments. According to The Times’ advertising site (source), the approval process can take 6-8 weeks. Factors in approval include relevance to the audience, factual accuracy, legality, decency, and fairness.

Ad Placement Policies

The New York Times has strict policies regarding the placement of advertisements within its print and digital publications to maintain the integrity of its journalism.

In terms of ad positioning, the Times does not guarantee a specific page or position for print ads, though premium positions are available at an additional cost. According to the Times’ Advertising Acceptability Standards, some sections, like the front page and section fronts, have restrictions on advertising.

The Times has adjacency guidelines to prevent ads from appearing next to content that is detrimental to the advertiser. Advertisers may request their ads not appear adjacent to content involving crime, violence, sexual content, obituaries, or other sensitive topics. Some sections, like News and Editorial, prohibit adjacency requests.

There are also restrictions on the types of ads placed in certain sections. For example, political ads are not allowed in the news section per the Times’ effort to separate news and opinion content from paid advertising. Advertiser categories like travel, financial services, and technology are restricted in certain sections as well.

Ad Format Policies

The New York Times allows a wide variety of ad formats, but also has some restrictions in place to ensure a good user experience. According to The New York Times’ Advertising Acceptability Standards, acceptable ad formats include banner ads, rich media, video ads,native ads, and sponsored content.

However, The New York Times does have policies limiting the use of audio, flash animation and video in ads. Audio in ads may not play automatically and must include visible controls for users to start/stop. Animation in Flash ads is restricted to 15 seconds max of looping content. Video ads are limited to 30 seconds in length and cannot include pre-roll/post-roll video ads according to the policy guidelines. These restrictions help ensure ads do not excessively disrupt the user experience on NYTimes.com.

Ad Content Policies

The New York Times has strict policies regarding the types of advertising content it will accept. According to the Standards of Advertising Acceptability, the Times reserves the right to reject any advertising that is inconsistent with its brand or editorial standards.

Some key advertising content policies include:

Restrictions on ad content: The Times prohibits ads for illegal products or services, weapons, tobacco, and network marketing programs. All ads must comply with legal and regulatory requirements. The Times also reserves the right to reject ads considered in poor taste or that denigrate groups based on race, sex, etc. [1]

Decency standards: Ads must conform to standards of decency and good taste as determined by the Times. Ads cannot be misleading, fraudulent, or defamatory. [1]

Use of NYT name/logo: Advertisers may not imply endorsement by the Times or use the NYT name or logo without permission. Terms of use are strictly enforced. [2]

In evaluating ad content, the Times aims to balance the needs of advertisers with protecting the user experience and integrity of its platform. Restrictive policies help maintain trust with readers.

Political Advertising

The New York Times has specific policies regarding political advertising and issue advocacy ads. According to the NYT’s political advertising rules, the newspaper will accept ads that advocate for causes or policies, but will not accept ads that advocate for or against a political candidate. Political campaign ads and electioneering ads are prohibited.

The NYT aims to avoid any conflicts of interest or perception of political bias in accepting political/advocacy advertising. All political and issue ads must identify the advertiser or sponsoring organization. Political ads cannot contain attacks, comparisons, or endorsements of candidates or elected officials. Advocacy ads on legislative matters or matters of public debate must not make inaccurate claims or use deceptive formats. The NYT reserves the right to reject any political ad at its discretion.

With the rise of deepfake technology overseas, the NYT and other media outlets have called for legislation to increase transparency in AI-generated political ads, which risk manipulating and deceiving voters.

Native Advertising

The New York Times has strict guidelines for sponsored content to ensure transparency and prevent deception. In 2015, The Times announced it would begin labelling all paid posts as “Paid for and posted by” the advertiser. This policy aligns with FTC guidelines for clearly identifying native advertising.

According to The Times’ native advertising lead Sebastian Tomich, sponsored posts must differentiate from editorial content by:

  • Using a different typeface than articles
  • Including visible labels identifying it as paid content
  • Linking to an advertiser’s website for more information

The Times also limits sponsored content primarily to its T Brand Studio and only allows a small number of brands at a time. This maintains the integrity of its editorial content and brand.

Data Collection and Privacy

The New York Times Company Privacy Policy explains how the publisher collects data on users through advertising and other means. Users’ personal information like email addresses may be shared with third party advertisers for targeted ads [1]. The Times also collects data about readers from other sources to target ads and personalize content [2].

Users can opt out of data collection for advertising by using the “Your Privacy Choices” page. This opts them out of sharing personal data with third parties and targeted advertising [3]. However, The Times still collects some data for analytics and functionality.

Oversight and Compliance

The New York Times takes oversight and compliance with its advertising standards very seriously. According to the Standards of Advertising Acceptability guidelines, the Advertising Acceptability Department is responsible for reviewing all advertisements to ensure they meet the standards before being published.

If an advertisement is found to violate the standards, the Times has several options for enforcement. Minor violations may result in the ad being returned to the advertiser for modifications. More serious or repeated violations can lead to suspension or termination of the advertiser’s contract with the Times. False or intentionally misleading ads may be referred to the legal department.

The Times also reserves the right to add clarifying language or disclaimers to ads that may be misleading or ambiguous. Refusing to comply with added disclaimers can also result in termination of an advertising contract. The Standards document states “The New York Times reserves the right, at any time and for any reason, to decline any advertising copy or artwork.”

In cases of native advertising, the Advertising Acceptability Department ensures proper labeling and transparency. Violations of native ad guidelines can result in discontinuation of native campaigns for an advertiser.

By maintaining strong oversight and enforcing its standards consistently, The New York Times aims to preserve reader trust and its reputation as a trusted news source. Adherence to ethical standards has become a hallmark of the Times’ brand.


In summary, The New York Times has rigorous standards and policies for advertising acceptance, placement, format, and content. These aim to uphold the Times’ credibility and reputation for quality journalism. Key policies include:

Ad content must meet editorial standards – ads cannot be misleading, offensive, or promote illegal/dangerous activities. Political ads are accepted but also face scrutiny. Native ads must be clearly labeled as promotional content.

Ads cannot interfere with editorial content or user experience. Certain ad formats like pop-ups or auto-play video are prohibited.

The Times collects user data for ad targeting but provides transparency and control over data use. Users can opt out of data collection.

An internal Advertising Acceptability Department reviews all ads to enforce policies. The Times aims to balance business needs with protecting its integrity through its advertising standards.

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