Management of Exhibits and Advertisements (Required Practice 3.4)
What Must Be Disclosed
What: The placement or location of all exhibits and advertisements must be controlled so that they do not occur in the same place or space as the instructional portion of the course. This requirement applies to both physical and virtual locations depending on the course presentation format.
Who: ASHA Approved CE Provider
When: Prior to and during course delivery
How: Control decision making over the placement of exhibits and advertisements and ensure that products, equipment or devices used in conducting the course are not sold or marketed during the course.
- For a live, face-to-face CE course, exhibits and advertisements are prohibited in the same place or space where the instructional portion of the course is being delivered.
- For online or print-based course, the ads or virtual exhibits cannot be in the same place or space as the course content.
- If devices or products are used as part of the instruction of the course, there can be no selling or marketing of the devices, products or services in the course.
- It is permissible to have advertisements in materials that promote the course such as registration materials and agendas; however, ads are prohibited in course materials or as handouts in the course.
Required Practice 3.4
3.4 The Provider must appropriately manage exhibits and advertisements associated with a CE course.
3.4.a The Provider controls decision making over placement of exhibits and advertisements and the time and place of social events or meals.
3.4.b Promotional activities, such as exhibits, commercial presentations, and printed or electronic advertisements, are prohibited in the physical or virtual location where CE courses are conducted. Likewise, promotional activities are prohibited as part of the instructional portion of CE courses. For example:
- Live, face-to-face CE courses: Display or distribution of advertisements and promotional materials is prohibited in the instructional space where the CE course is conducted.
- Print-based CE courses: Advertisement and promotional materials are prohibited within the pages of the CE content. Advertisements and promotional materials may face the first or last pages of printed CE content.
- Web/computer-based CE courses: Advertisements and promotional materials are prohibited on the screen, the web page, or as "pop-ups" where the CE content is displayed.
- Recorded CE courses: Advertisements and promotional materials are prohibited within the CE course. There will be no "commercial breaks."
3.4.c Providers must ensure that products, equipment, or devices used in conducting the course are not sold or marketed as part of the instructional portion of the CE course.
3.4.d Print or electronic information distributed about the CE course that is not directly related to the transfer of education to the learner, such as schedules and content descriptions, may include product, service, or organizational promotion or product-specific advertisements.
3.4e Print or digital course descriptions, promotional materials, or advertisements must adhere to the following requirements:
- When referencing the credit offered, the specific type of CEUs, credit, or hours must be identified. For example, use ASHA CEUs not CEUs.
- Advertising cannot include the phrase free ASHA CEUs, or any language implying or suggesting the awarding of ASHA CEUs is free.
- The word free may be used when advertising a course that has no registration fee.
- If course registration is free, but the purchase of an item related to the course is required to participate in the course—for example, a book or a device—this must be disclosed to the learner prior to their registering for the course.
- The acronym "CEU" should not be used to mean "course." For example, say New courses for ASHA CEUs not New CEUs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Managing Exhibits and Advertising
What does "space or place" mean?
Many years ago, most CE occurred in lecture halls or hotel conference rooms. Now, learning occurs in many different environments, including online and in enduring materials like DVDs, journal articles, and the like. CEB intends that all of these places and spaces need to be protected from encroachment by sales, promotional activity, and advertising.
So, we won't be allowed to have vendors at our conference, because they're promoting a product, right?
Vendors are allowed; however, the Provider must ensure that vendor exhibits do not intrude on or interfere with the CE course and its participants. Vendors and their exhibits should be located outside the physical location where the CE course is conducted. Further, vendors may not promote their products or services during the instructional portion of the CE course.
For a small meeting, it can be cost-prohibitive to have exhibitors outside the room where the course is being held. How can we meet Required Practice 3.4.b?
Required practice 3.4 states that "Promotional activities, such as exhibits, commercial presentations, and printed or electronic advertisements, are prohibited in the physical or virtual location where CE courses are conducted." Exhibits should be outside of the location where the instructional portion of the course takes place; however, the CEB understands that sometimes Providers are limited in the availability and configuration of space. When space is limited to one room, in order to best meet the spirit of the required practice, Providers should locate the exhibit tables so that attendees are not forced to interact with exhibitors; exhibits should not be in the attendees' sight lines during the instructional portion of the course; and exhibits should not be operational during the instructional portion of the course. The Provider should screen or cover the merchandise and the exhibits during the instructional portion of the course.
If an exhibitor's devices or materials are used during the instructional portion of the course, those devices or materials should not be used at the exhibit table nor should the exhibitor display banners or logos when the devices or materials are being used as part of the course.
We recommend such situations be discussed with the CE Provider Manager, who can provide guidance on meeting the requirements.
Is it allowable to use logos on slides/handouts?
The Required Practice 3.4.b includes this language: "Advertisement and promotional materials are prohibited within the pages of the CE content." ASHA Approved CE Providers should determine if the use of a logo on slides or handouts (a) contributes to transparency (i.e., serves to remind attendees of the speaker's relationship to a company, product, or service) or (b) constitutes a form of advertisement/promotion. Providers are asked to view the use of the logo in the context of the course.
What is the proportion or frequency of use of a logo on materials?
In terms of using a logo in materials associated with the CE content portion of the course, the Provider should first determine if using a logo is necessary to effectively conduct the course and whether use of the logo contributes to transparency. Logos may be used at the Provider's discretion in promotional materials not directly related to the transfer of education to the learner.
Can promotional materials include products "available"? May the course brochure list educational products available for purchase at the course?
The Required Practice 3.4.d allows that, if the material isn't directly related to the transfer of education to the learner, then product promotion is permissible. The Provider must ensure that the saleable products are not promoted during the instructional portion of the course and that the location where the products may be purchased is not in the physical or virtual space where the course is conducted.
Can books on a suggested reading list distributed at a course be sold at a presentation?
The Provider may sell the books at the conference as long as the organization is adhering to Required Practice 3.4.b. The Provider must ensure that the location where the books are sold is not in the physical location where instruction takes place. The book(s) cannot be promoted during the instructional portion of the course.
Our courses discuss techniques, and our speakers often reference products they have found effective in their practice. We have a mail order business attached to the CE business to help therapists, and we often have samples available for purchase at workshops. Would this practice be forbidden under the new regulation?
If presenters are going to talk exclusively about a specific product in the course, then the Provider should disclose this in promotional materials and at the course (see Required Practice 3.1.b (b)); if there are similar products or services to those mentioned by speakers, those products/services should be discussed during the course. Any materials available for purchase should be displayed outside the location where the CE course is taught (not in the room) and should not be promoted during the course (see Required Practice 3.4.b).
For Required Practice 3.4.b, does "promotional materials" include promotional items, such as pens imprinted with our logo and contact information? Our products catalog?
It's not unusual for Providers to make pens available to learners at the start of the course. The Provider should avoid providing pens to learners for use during the course if that pen promotes a product or service that is the focus of the CE course. Providers may distribute a products catalog as long as this activity occurs outside of the physical or virtual space where the CE course takes place.