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  • FEC Record: Advisory opinions

AO 2017-12: Nonprofit must include disclaimers on its Facebook ads

December 18, 2017

Take Back Action Fund (TBAF), a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organization, must include disclaimers on its paid Facebook image and video advertising. While the Commission unanimously agreed to that conclusion, Commissioners relied upon different rationales to reach it.

Background

TBAF plans to purchase advertising on Facebook that will expressly advocate the election or defeat of clearly identified federal candidates. The organization asked whether its Facebook image and video advertising must include all, some, or none of the disclaimer information specified by 52 U.S.C. § 30120(a).

Analysis

The Commission concluded that, under the circumstances described in the request, TBAF must include all of the disclaimer information specified by 52 U.S.C. § 30120(a) on its proposed paid Facebook image and video advertising. In reaching this conclusion, Commissioners relied on different rationales, some of which are reflected in Agenda Doc. No. 17-59-A-1 (garnering a vote of 2-3) and Agenda Doc. No. 17-59-B (garnering a vote of 3-2), although neither of those agenda documents constitutes a Commission advisory opinion. Additionally, Vice Chair Hunter and Commissioners Goodman and Petersen issued a concurring opinion that further explains the basis for their decision.

Date issued: December 15, 2017; Length: 2 pages

Citations:

Statute:

52 U.S.C. § 30120(a)
Identification of funding and authorizing sources

Regulations:

11 CFR 110.11
Communications; advertising; disclaimers

Resources:

  • Author 
    • Christopher Berg
    • Communications Specialist