Policies, Procedures, and Forms Updates


ASM Revision: Postal Service Commercial Advertising Policy

Effective January 1, 2009, the Administrative Support Manual (ASM) is revised to replace Subchapter 44, Commercial Advertising Policy, in its entirety to reflect organizational changes and current responsibilities and to maintain consistency with other programs and practices.

It is important to note that under both the existing and revised commercial advertising policy, field managers do not have local authority to enter into joint marketing, co–branded, or commercial advertising agreements.

Administrative Support Manual (ASM)

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4 Relations With Other Organizations

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[Revise 44 to read as follows:]

44 Commercial Advertising Policy

441 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to allow the Postal Service, in the exercise of its business judgment, to maximize the value of its property through the display of commercial advertisements. This policy is not intended to create a public forum for the dissemination, discussion, or debate of issues or ideas.

442 Definition

A commercial advertisement is an advertisement pur­chased pursuant to contract that promotes nothing other than a product or service available in commerce. Specifi­cally excluded from this definition are advertisements that take a position, explicitly or implicitly, on government, public policy, morality, politics, or religion (whether or not they also convey a commercial message).

443 Scope

443.1 What the Policy Covers

This policy applies to all Postal Service property, including all real property and all tangible and intangible personal property.

443.2 What the Policy Does Not Cover

This policy does not alter, or apply to, current practices and procedures involving the following:

a. Lobby management as prescribed in all applicable Postal Service policies and regulations (including, without limitation, manuals, handbooks, and man­agement instructions).

b. Advertising of Postal Service products, services, or brands alone, or in combination with the products, services, or brands of another government or busi­ness entity.

444 Guidelines

444.1 General

Except as prohibited by this policy, the Postal Service may accept a commercial advertisement for display on Postal Service property.

444.2 Indecent or Obscene Advertisement

The Postal Service will not accept a commercial advertise­ment that:

a. Is indecent or obscene.

b. Depicts violent or sexual material that would be harmful to minors.

c. Is unlawful or legally actionable.

The terms “obscene,” “indecent,” and “harmful to minors” have the broadest meaning permissible under United States Supreme Court decisions and other applicable judi­cial decisions.

444.3 Competing Products or Services

The Postal Service will not accept a commercial advertise­ment for a product or service that competes with a Postal Service product or service.

444.4 Alcohol, Tobacco, Weapons, or Gambling

The Postal Service will not accept a commercial advertise­ment for alcohol, tobacco, weapons, or gambling.

445 Administration

445.1 Vice Presidents of the Sponsoring Organization

The vice president of the organization within the Postal Service requesting to display commercial advertisements on Postal Service property (the “sponsoring organization”) is responsible for ensuring that this policy is properly administered. Each vice president may delegate this responsibility to a representative within his or her organiza­tion who is familiar with this policy and its requirements.

445.2 Clearance Committee

Before implementing the display of any commercial adver­tisement, the sponsoring organization must submit a writ­ten proposal for the advertisement, accompanied by a Commercial Advertisement Standard Clearance Form (see Exhibit 445.2), to the clearance committee, comprised of the following individuals:

a. Senior vice president, General Counsel, or designee.

b. President, Shipping and Mailing Services, or designee.

c. Vice president, Corporate Communications, or designee.

Within thirty (30) days of receipt, the clearance commit­tee will review the proposal and complete and return the Commercial Advertisement Standard Clearance Form to the sponsoring organization. The clearance committee may, at its discretion, notify the executive committee of the proposed advertisement.

Exhibit 445.2
Commercial Advertisement Standard Clearance Form



Product/Service to be advertised

Advertiser/Contractor business contact

Proposed content/copy of advertisement

Proposed location(s) of advertisement (regional/national)

Proposed duration of advertisement



(Circle One)

Cleared Not Cleared





445.3 Authority to Contract

Before implementing the display of any commercial adver­tisement that the clearance committee has approved, the sponsoring organization must secure an appropriate dele­gation of authority from the vice president of Supply Management.

445.4 No Local Authority

Field managers do not have local authority to enter into joint marketing, co-branded, or commercial advertising agreements.

445.5 Policy Review

The General Counsel has authority for reviewing and amending this policy as needed. The General Counsel may delegate this responsibility to individuals in the Law Department who are familiar with this policy and its requirements.

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We will incorporate these revisions into the next printed version of the ASM and also into the online update, avail­able on the Postal Service™ PolicyNet website:

n Go to http://blue.usps.gov.

n In the left hand column under “Essential Links,” click PolicyNet.

n On the PolicyNet page, click Manuals.

The direct, URL for the Postal Service PolicyNet website is http://blue.usps.gov/cpim.)