Advertising Guidelines

For Advertisers

The following terms apply to advertising, and an Advertiser providing such advertising to Synacor (“Advertiser”), for display within the Synacor Publisher Network:

  1. Landing pages / Destination URLs
    1. Ads that contain a URL or domain in the body must link to that same URL or domain.
    2. Ads must send users to the same landing page when the ad is clicked.
    3. Landing pages cannot generate a pop-up (including “pop-overs” and “pop-unders”) when a user enters or leaves the page.
    4. Landing pages cannot use “fake” close behavior (i.e., when a user clicks the ‘close’ icon on the page, the page should close down and no other behavior should result).
    5. Landing pages cannot utilize “mouse trapping” whereby the Advertiser does not allow users to use their browser “back button” and traps them on their site and/or present any other unexpected behavior (for example: navigation to another ad or page).
    6. Ads cannot require viewers to click on the ad to submit Personally Identifiable Information (such as name, date of birth, phone numbers, social security number, physical addresses, or email addresses) on the landing page or in the ad, except to enable an ecommerce transaction and where the ad and landing page clearly indicate that a product is being sold.
  2. Ad Copy and Image Content
    1. Ads must directly relate to the content on the landing page.
    2. Ads must clearly represent the company, product, or brand that is being advertised.
    3. Ads cannot contain audio that plays automatically, without a user’s interaction.
  3. Ad Placement
    1. Synacor reserves the right not to display advertising of an Advertiser and/or any specific ad creative on any site or placement across its network of distribution affiliates and other third party sites (the “Synacor Publisher Network”).
    2. Synacor Distribution Affiliates can be found at:
  4. Privacy
    1. Advertiser websites must include a conspicuous link to, and the Advertiser must comply with, a privacy policy that meets all applicable laws, rules and regulations, and Advertiser otherwise must comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations in its performance of any advertising order.
    2. If an Advertiser uses web beacons, cookies, ad tags, or similar mechanisms to track advertising user activity, the above privacy policy will include information regarding the scope of such use, together with a statement that describes how visitors may learn more about the choices offered in connection with the use of their data, including an active link to or
    3. Advertisers must take all necessary measures to ensure that a user’s choice to “opt out” is properly effectuated.
  5. Prohibited Actions
    1. Failing to comply with the NAI’s self-regulatory principles regarding Internet advertising practices, privacy and opt-out process.
    2. Failing to comply with any code of conduct, “best practices” or similar framework established by the organization in which the Advertiser maintains membership.
    3. Providing advertisements that (i) violate any applicable law, (ii) promote or endorse any illegal activity, (iii) contain any prohibited content described in Section 6 below, (iv) infringe, violate or misappropriate the rights of any third party, including, without limitation, intellectual property rights or any right of privacy or publicity or contain content that is defamatory, or (iv) collect or allow for the collection, through cookies or otherwise, of any personally identifiable information (PII) without the user’s express consent.
    4. Using Flash cookies, or similar technology, for the purposes of online behavioral advertising, individual profiling, repopulation or storage of any information previously contained in deleted traditional browser-based cookies, or for any other purpose that violates any individual’s privacy rights.
    5. Using PII collected from users of the Distribution Affiliate sites (i) to retarget any individual on any third party site, (ii) to sell any such PII to any third party, or (iii) to collect individualized data, anonymous or otherwise, for the purpose of retargeting any individuals on any third-party site.
    6. Engaging in any “history sniffing” practices relating to Synacor’s or its Distribution Affiliates’ users.
  6. Prohibited Content (“Prohibited Content”)
    1. Ads must not be false, misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive.
    2. Ads cannot insult, harass, or threaten a user.
    3. Ads cannot contain, facilitate, promote, or reference the following:
      • Offensive, profane, vulgar, obscene or inappropriate language;
      • Defamatory, libelous, slanderous and/or unlawful content;
      • Tobacco products;
      • Ammunition, firearms, paintball guns, bb guns, or weapons of any kind, or the sale of firearms or ammunition by mail order or at gun shows;
      • Gambling, including without limitation, any online casino, sports books, bingo, or poker without authorization from Synacor;
      • Scams, illegal activity, pyramid schemes, or chain letters;
      • Contests and sweepstakes unless given permission by Synacor to do so;
      • Get rich quick and other money making opportunities that offer compensation for little or no investment, including money making schemes positioned as alternatives to part-time or full-time employment;
      • Adult content, including adult toys, videos, or other adult products, nudity, promotion of nude beaches or naked cruises or resorts, sexual terms and/or images of people in positions or activities that are excessively suggestive or sexual, or provocative images in violation of community standards;
      • Products or sites depicting or providing how-to materials about pedophilia or other non-consensual contact;
      • Adult friend finders, dating sites with a sexual emphasis, escort services, “strip” clubs, or products or sites that suggest the availability of prostitution services;
      • Products or sites that advocate, glorify or promote rape, torture, cannibalism, suffering or death;
      • Individuals seeking to adopt children or who offer children for adoption;
      • Products that descramble cable or satellite signals in order to get free services;
      • Products that promote software or techniques that bypass copyright protections;
      • Counterfeit, fake or bootleg products or replicas or imitations of designer products;
      • Products or sites that appear to facilitate or promote the evasion of laws (e.g., radar detectors, etc.);
      • Products made from endangered species;
      • Products or sites that offer fake identification or falsified documentation;
      • Services, contests or games that predict winners of races or sporting events;
      • Trivializes historic events such as the Holocaust, the Irish Famine or September 11th;
      • Hunting trips that guarantee animals will be available for kill;
      • Organ transplant services;
      • Products or sites that guarantee credit repair or credit cards;
      • Products or sites of questionable legality (e.g., miracle cures, etc.);
      • Excessive violence;
      • Uncertified pharmaceutical products;
      • Spy cams or illegal surveillance equipment;
      • Web-based non-accredited colleges that offer degrees;
      • Inflammatory religious content;
      • Politically religious agendas and/or any known associations with hate, criminal and/or terrorist activities;
      • Content that exploits political agendas or uses “hot button” issues for commercial use regardless of whether the Advertiser has a political agenda;
      • Hate speech, whether directed at an individual or a group, and whether based upon the race, sex, creed, national origin, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or language of such individual or group;
      • Content that advocates against any organization, person, or group of people, with the exception of candidates running for public office; or
      • Content that depicts a health condition in a derogatory or inflammatory way or misrepresents a health condition in any way.
    4. Prices, discounts, and free offers
      1. Ads cannot be deceptive or fraudulent about any offer made.
      2. If an ad includes a price, discount, or ‘free’ offer:
        • The destination URL for the ad must link to a page that clearly and accurately offers the exact deal the ad has displayed;
        • The ad must clearly state what action or set of actions is required to qualify for the offer.
      3. Copyrights and trademarks
        1. Ads cannot include any content that infringes upon the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or other personal or proprietary right.
        2. The Advertiser must have intellectual property rights to the creative and be permitted to display such creative as advertising within the Synacor Publisher Network.
      4. Incentives
        1. Ads cannot offer incentives to viewers for clicking on the ad, for submitting Personally Identifiable Information (such as name, date of birth, phone number, social security number, physical addresses, or email addresses), or for performing any other tasks.
        1. Ads cannot contain or link, whether directly or indirectly, to a site that contains spyware/malware downloads, whether initiated automatically or manually by the user, or other auto-initiated downloads.
        2. Ads cannot contain or link to a site that facilitates or promotes:
          • Collection of demographic and usage information from a user’s computer without the user’s express consent;
          • Collection or request of usernames or passwords from any user;
          • Proxying usernames or passwords for the purpose of automating logins;
          • Any software that (A) “sneaks” onto a user’s system and performs activities hidden to the user, (B) may alter, harm, disable or replace any hardware or software installed on user’s computer without express permission from the user, (C) is bundled as a hidden component of other software whether free or for fee, (D) automatically downloads without Synacor’s express prior approval, (E) presents any download dialog boxes without a user’s express action, or (F) may violate or infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, patent or any other proprietary right.
        3. Creative formats – Specifications are described at http:
        4. Political advertising
          1. In addition to complying with the guidelines above, political advertising must comply with applicable federal laws, including without limitation all federal election laws, FEC regulations, and (where applicable) state or local laws and regulations, and such compliance shall be the sole responsibility of the Advertiser.
          2. All political advertising must display the phrase “Paid Political Advertisement” clearly within the creative; and must display consistently in every iteration (for example, if a Flash ad contains multiple ‘frames’).
          3. As with our standard guidelines for general ads, political ads cannot mislead users (for example, using ad text that leads a user to believe they’re clicking on Candidate A’s ad when in reality link leads to Candidate B’s site). Ad text must be clear, easy to read, and descriptive of a candidate or cause.
          4. Requests for time-specific “roadblock” political ads will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and approvals are at the sole discretion of Synacor.
          5. No attacks on an individual’s personal life will be accepted. Statements of disagreement or campaigning against a candidate for public office, a political party, or public administration is generally permissible. However, accusations or attacks relating to an individual’s personal life, or advocating against a protected group, will not be accepted. Hence, “School Budgets have dropped under Candidate A” is acceptable, while “Candidate A once had an affair” is not.
          6. If an ad campaign is soliciting political donations, the ad’s landing page must clearly state that the donations are non-tax-deductible.
        5. Integrated Roadblock Cancellation Policy
          1. To cancel roadblock advertising campaigns, Synacor must receive at least 30 days advance notice.
        6. Advertising Refresh Policy
          1. Synacor and Synacor’s partner websites are generally the first stop for the end consumers. We program our sites by aggregating content from a variety of sources that include, but are not limited to news, sports, entertainment, and video sources. These sources update their content throughout the day. In order for our end users to enjoy the most up to date content we may refresh the page and advertisements at a reasonable frequency at our discretion. In addition, some of our advertising inventory associated with device manufacturers comes from the second tab of browsers which is generally less visible than the first tab of browsers.
        7. Competitive Advertising
          1. Ads may not market or promote the products or services of competitors of the Synacor Distribution Affiliates. With regard to advertising provided by an Advertiser, the Advertiser agrees to cooperate with Synacor as reasonably necessary to block (and/or provide a mechanism through which Synacor may block) competitive Ads, and Advertiser promptly will remove any competitive Ads at Synacor’s request. In connection therewith, Synacor may provide a competitor list to Advertisers, which Synacor may update from time to time.

Synacor reserves the right to reject, approve or remove any ad for any reason, in our sole discretion, including ads that negatively affect our relationship with our Distribution Affiliates or that promote content, services, or activities contrary to our business interests or advertising philosophy.

Audience Extension Terms for Google DoubleClick Ad Exchange

The following terms also apply to any Audience Extension advertising services ordered by a provider of advertising (“Purchaser”) to be delivered by Synacor utilizing the Google DoubleClick Ad Exchange buyers program (the “Audience Extension Services”) under the terms of an IO between Purchaser and Synacor.

Synacor will provide the Audience Extension Services to Purchaser as described in the applicable IO.

In addition to the terms of the IO, the terms and conditions of the Google DoubleClick Ad Exchange buyers program (available at: also shall apply to the extent applicable, and are hereby incorporated into the IO.

In addition to any obligations set forth in the IO, Purchaser hereby agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Synacor from and against any and all claims, losses, demands, liabilities, costs, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising from or relating to Purchaser’s breach of the above-referenced Google DoubleClick terms.

For Publishers

The following terms apply to publishers providing advertising inventory (“Publishers”) on or within the Publisher’s website(s), applications, and other agreed upon platforms (the “Publisher Sites”’) as part of the Synacor Publisher Network:

  1. Prohibited Actions
    1. Publisher shall not, and shall not permit any third party (i) to modify or otherwise alter, or interfere with the display of, the advertising and content in any way; (ii) to obscure any metadata or intellectual property markings associated with the advertising or content; (iii) to use fraudulent means to generate advertising impressions or clicks; (iv) to place any Synacor tag/campaign on inventory where ad units or pages refresh without user action unless otherwise approved by Synacor; (v) to place more than one Synacor tag/campaign on each page view unless otherwise approved by Synacor; or (iv) to download, copy, attempt to make derivative works of, or otherwise replicate the advertising or content in any way.
    2. Publishers or managed service supply partners shall not run advertising in a manner whereby ads are automatically rotated/refreshed within a single ad request.
    3. Managed service supply partners are required to have a direct relationship with each of the publishers who provide advertising inventory on the Publisher Sites.
  2. Privacy Policy
    1. On every Publisher Site where advertising is displayed, Publisher will include a conspicuous link to, and the Publisher will comply with, a privacy policy that meets all applicable laws, rules and regulations.
    2. Publisher’s privacy policy will disclose that the Publisher Site allow third parties to serve advertising therein, and will disclose the type of information collected by such third parties.
  3. Prohibited Content
    1. Publisher will use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure no Publisher Site contains any Prohibited Content.
  4. Indemnity
    1. Publisher agrees to indemnify, defend and hold Synacor harmless from and against any and all costs, damages, expenses and/or other losses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, suffered or incurred by Synacor from any third party claim, suit, demand, action or proceeding to the extent arising out of or relating to (i) a breach of these advertising guidelines, (ii) the video, music, audio, images, graphics, games, statistics, advertising, text, and any other content appearing on, or technology used by Publisher connection with the Publisher Sites, or (iii) any contaminated files or viruses originating from the Publisher’s sites. The foregoing indemnity shall not apply to any advertising provided by Synacor.

Changes to these advertising guidelines

Synacor may update these advertising guidelines from time to time; so we recommend that you review this policy periodically. Any modifications shall be effective immediately upon posting of the modified guidelines on our web site.