Digital Creative Specs: Content Guidelines

All NPR/PBS digital creatives may include:

  • Non-promotional, value-neutral descriptions of the organization, and its products or services.
  • Names of operating divisions and subsidiaries.
  • Organization mission language that identifies and does not promote or state an opinion.
  • Established slogans (verbatim) that identify and do not promote.
  • Length of time in business.
  • Non-promotional location information (i.e., phone number, Web site address). The phone number or web address must be subordinate to the underwriter’s name or logo. Banners may include tracking language, such as “promo code NPR,” “offer code NPR,’ and “coupon code NPR.”
  • To help identify an underwriter, specific products or brand names may be mentioned in audio and depicted in banners. Product images or depictions should not focus on comparative qualities or benefits. The use of people in such product demonstrations or product image is limited.
  • Calls to action of a non-transactional nature. The call to action should not be the primary focus of the creative, not be visually intrusive, and not imply deadlines or discounts.

Unless specifically excepted, digital creatives may not include:

  • Promotional or qualitative language (favorable qualities, benefits and claims).
  • Comparative language (i.e., “leader,” “largest,” “the only,” “exclusively,” “ranked No. 1”).
  • Price and value information.
  • Health claims.
  • Award or prize mentions. Exceptions may be granted for factual major motion picture or music industry nominations or awards (i.e., Academy Awards, Grammys, Sundance Film Festival, etc.).
  • Favorable reviews (i.e., product review quotes), endorsements, testimonials. Exceptions may be granted for tasteful review quotes for movie or music creative.
  • Inducement language (i.e., rewards programs, warranties, portion of purchase donated to charity, vehicle donation programs, holiday mentions related to sales of products, sweepstakes or contests).
  • Language that expresses a view about a matter of public importance or interest or which supports or opposes a political candidate.
  • Language that appears to be self-congratulatory.
  • 900 or other numbers where the caller is charged for services in addition to normal toll charges, if any.

General Requirements:

  • All audio scripts will be voiced by NPR/PBS talent.
  • No third-party survey recruitment is permitted without prior approval.
  • NPM does not pay third-party serving fees.
  • Ad-blocking via verification services is prohibited.
  • NPM reserves the right to reject any creative that uses visual elements that are overly distracting, as these perform poorly with our audience.


  • All cookies and behavioral tracking pixels must be disclosed to NPM prior to campaign launch.
  • Any cookies set on our users during a campaign must expire within 90 days of campaign end.
  • Flash cookies are prohibited.
  • Third-party survey recruitment is prohibited without specific exception

For more information, refer to the privacy policies for NPR and PBS.

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