Advertising and Exhibits

Learners appreciate and expect the ability to choose which exhibits to visit and which ads to watch.

What It Looks Like

In both physical and virtual environments, exhibits and advertisements must be separated from instructional content. Learners must not be required to watch, attend, click through, or otherwise engage in these activities.

In a physical location, this may happen by

  • Having an exhibit hall that is outside of—or in a separate room from—courses.
  • Alerting learners of opportunities to attend marketing presentations without expecting attendance.
  • Including advertisements during course breaks when learners can choose to stay or leave.

Virtually, there may be

  • A virtual exhibit hall that learners may choose to visit before or after a course or course sessions.
  • Marketing messages before or after course content that learners can choose to log into, if interested.
  • Pre- or post-course messages sent to attendees.

In written course content, ads may be included at the front or back of course materials but not within the educational content itself.

When It Happens

Exhibits and advertisements can occur at any time but must be separated from educational content. If an advertisement is scheduled to occur during a break or at the end of a course, learners must be alerted to this and given time to leave or disconnect.

How It Supports Compliance

Standard 3.4.1 states that all promotional and sales activities must be kept separate from course content. Additional details about how this should be done is outlined in the Transparency in Exhibits and Advertising policy.

Why It Matters

Although learners may be interested in new products or services, they do not want to be forced to sit through advertisements that are not of interest to them. To ensure transparency and reinforce trust between the Provider and learner, marketing opportunities must be distinct from instructional time.

Bottom Line

Browsing exhibit halls and learning about new products are a high point for many attendees. Allowing them to choose with whom they engage and when makes the experience more meaningful—and fosters goodwill.

ASHA Corporate Partners