State Parks Advertising Program
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Commission) operates websites and social media channels that are accessed by members of the public through the Internet. The agency also provides printed collateral that is available in hard copy as well as digitally. The Commission established these digital tools and collateral to communicate the features and benefits of the state park system to the public. Commercial advertising is not allowed in state parks except in digital or print media forms as provide herein.
To advertise on the State Parks website, send an email to us or call Bob Hoyler at (847) 922-1584.
If you have questions or comments about the agency’s online advertising program, send an e-mail or call (360) 902-8559.
Below is a summary of the Commission’s advertising acceptance guidelines. To receive a copy of the full list of guidelines, please contact us by email.
Advertising sold, solicited or allowed on agency websites and printed or digital collateral shall be limited to commercial advertising. By offering advertising for this limited purpose, the Commission is not creating a public forum or designated public forum. State Parks staff retains the right to limit advertising to the purposes set out in this policy or to discontinue the sale of commercial advertising at its discretion. By limiting the use of designated areas of the agency’s websites and collateral to commercial advertising under this policy, the Commission does limit its right to engage in speech on behalf of itself and the State of Washington.
- Any and all advertising sold shall be limited to informing members of the public of the availability of commercial goods or services. No statements of public policy, opinion or public matters shall be permitted, whether or not in the form of an advertisement.
- Content must be in keeping with contemporary community standards and any standards for public area advertising.
- State Parks staff may use designated advertising space for State Parks information, including promotion of agency programs, projects and services.
Prohibited advertising content
Content containing any of the following characteristics is not permitted:
- Obscene or indecent.
- Religious (other than commercial advertising of service times and locations)
- Political advertising promoting or opposing a political party; the election of any candidate or group of candidates to federal, state or local government offices; and initiatives, referendums and other ballot measures.
- Public issue advertising expressing or advocating an opinion, position or viewpoint on matters of public debate about economic, political, religious or social issues.
Advertising that depicts or promotes the following products, services or other material will not be permitted:
- Alcohol/tobacco/marijuana products.
- Gambling or gambling institutions.
- Firearms including ads promoting or soliciting the sale, rental, distribution or availability of firearms or firearms-related products.
- Adult/mature rated films, television or video games or other products rated by the industry as only suitable for mature audiences.
- Adult entertainment or establishments, including but not limited to adult book or video stores, adult Internet sites, adult telephone services, adult Internet sites, and adult escort services.
- False or misleading material that the advertiser knows or would reasonably be expected to know is false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or would constitute a tort of defamation or invasion of privacy.
- Objectionable sexual or harmful subject matter that is offensive based on contemporary community standards and would reasonably foresee harm to, disruption of or interference with the operation of the state parks system.
- Insulting, disparaging or degrading material directed at a person or group that is intended to be or could be interpreted as being disrespectful based on characteristics protected under federal or state law or that is so offensive as to reasonably foresee that it will incite or produce imminent lawless action in the form of retaliation, vandalism or other breach of public safety, peace and order.
- Illegal activity, including any advertising that promotes any activity or product that is illegal under federal, state or local law or any advertising that contains material that is an infringement of a copyright or trademark or is otherwise unlawful or illegal.
- Profanity and violence, including advertising that contains any profane language or portrays images or descriptions of graphic violence or intentional infliction of pain or violent action towards or upon a person or animal.
- Products, services or messages which might be contrary to the best interests of the agency, including any advertisement that encourages or depicts unsafe behaviors or encourages unsafe or prohibited recreation activities.
In addition to general restrictions, the following guidelines apply to advertisements on agency websites and social media channels:
- The clarity and functionality of the websites and social media channels are paramount. Advertising that interferes with this goal or distracts or interrupts the agency’s information, will not be allowed.
- The agency shall specifically designate the advertising spaces available on its website. It is within the agency’s sole discretion to determine which web pages, or portions thereof, shall be available.
- Advertising must not slow or degrade access to information.
- The advertising content must be clearly identifiable as an advertisement, distinctive from agency content. Advertisements cannot mimic news headlines or agency content in design, tone, third-person sentence structure or topic.
- Advertising content cannot mislead the user. For example, advertisements cannot be designed to appear as though they are a functional part of the agency’s websites or mimic or resemble operating system or Internet browser error messages or dialog boxes (dropdown menus, search boxes, etc.). Actual interactive ads approved by State Parks staff are allowable.
- Audio events in advertisements must be initiated by a user click, must include a clearly labeled button or link to stop audio, and cannot loop.
- Advertisements that include links to websites outside of the agency’s control must allow users to return the agency’s websites by using their browser’s “back” button; trap door effects are not permitted. Advertisements cannot launch multiple browser windows upon a user click.
- All advertisers will execute contracts approved as to form by the agency setting out the rights and liabilities of the agency and the advertiser. The contracts will include a requirement that the advertiser agrees to hold the State of Washington and the Commission harmless and to indemnify the State of Washington and the Commission for any loss associated with the placement of an advertisement. State Parks staff will consult with the Office of the Attorney General regarding the appropriate form of such advertising contracts.
PARKS does not endorse and makes no representations, explicit or otherwise concerning any advertiser on this site or emails, their content or any products or services which they offer. Content contained in advertisements, on advertisers’ websites, or email does not represent the views of PARKS.