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Advertising Standards

For over 130 years, our goal has been to earn the trust of our readers. We value feedback from readers and are consistently reviewing our practices. When challenged, we will seek to review our standards, make any necessary changes, and continue to build trust through transparency about these standards.

The Star maintains its credibility with its customers by providing trustworthy news and information 鈥 news and information that is accurate, accountable, independent, and fair. Accuracy, grounded in verification, is our most basic contract with readers. We have long been Canada鈥檚 largest daily newspaper because of our journalistic excellence, fairness, and progressive values. While advertising content is different than editorial content, the advertising that appears in The Star should not undermine these core principles.

Our goal is to treat advertisers fairly and openly, abiding by the fundamental principle that responsible advertising tells the truth. All advertising must be able to provide the source for its claims. We apply this standard fairly and consistently, regardless of the advertisement鈥檚 point of view or subject matter.

We reserve the right to review ads against established principles designed to ensure our standards are consistently met and applied.

Our principles for advertising are:

  1. We are open to considering all points of view in The Star鈥檚 advertising space.

    1. We may publish ads that advocate for a particular cause. Publication of such ads does not constitute endorsement of their viewpoints.

    2. Advocacy ads should be constructive, use moderate language, and clearly express opinions as opinions.

    3. Where applicable, advertisers will be asked to provide evidence or sources to support their claims.

  2. All ads must clearly identify the advertiser and, where applicable, the source for any factual claims or testimonials.

  3. We will not accept ads that:

    1. Promote, directly or indirectly, the use or sale of substances, services or products that are illegal, unregulated or cause physical harm;

    2. Contain inappropriate content such as violent, disturbing, explicit, or obscene content, or ad hominem attacks (including ads that reference or 鈥渓ink to鈥 such content);

    3. Have the potential to incite violence, hate, or persecution against people or groups;

    4. Are deemed offensive on the grounds of race, religion, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation;

    5. Contain editorial content sponsored or submitted by state-run media organizations;

    6. Contain the names or photographs of individuals who are not public figures and who have not agreed to be referenced by name in the ad;

    7. Are found to be misleading, inaccurate, confusing, or deceptive. This may include:

      1. Ads that conceal their sources or contain claims that cannot be verified

      2. Ads that advance conspiracy theories

      3. Ads that make representations with respect to the performance, effectiveness or length of life of a product that is not based on adequate and proper testing

    8. Ads that include improper inference, mistruths or baseless statements.

  4. We consider ads in their entirety. We believe the reader should be able to accept, in good faith, the complete message and the overall impression it leaves as well as all individual parts of that message.

It is important that The Star distinguishes between our journalism and the advertising published around our journalism. We maintain this separation through our Journalistic Standards, and by clearly identifying print and digital ads as advertising. We may hold ads that resemble editorial content, such as sponsored content, to a higher standard of scrutiny and verification.

We require a minimum of five business days to review all ads, and reserve the right to an extended review timeline where additional scrutiny is required (such as circumstances where the subject matter is contentious or facts are evolving with the news cycle). Ads may be fact checked and advertisers may be asked to provide evidence and sources to support their claims.

The Star retains the right to decline an advertisement offered to us if it violates our principles, our internal guidelines, or if we determine that there is any other reason to do so. We may decline an advertisement where we are concerned the ad is libelous, defamatory, misleading,聽 infringes third party rights, is in violation of applicable law, or may otherwise subject The Star to any liability. Given the volume of ads reviewed, we are not able to offer revisions for ads that do not meet our standards in all cases, nor are we able to provide a detailed explanation when ads are declined.