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Advertising and Promotion on BPN

Berkeley Parents Network > Help & Frequently Asked Questions > Advertising and Promotion on BPN

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Advertising on BPN

The Berkeley Parents Network does not accept advertising in the newsletter or on the website. This includes postings that promote one's own business, regardless of how small the business is.

The primary goal of the Berkeley Parents Network is to provide a forum for parent-to-parent networking. Although information about local businesses does have value for BPN subscribers, promoting local businesses is not a part of BPN's mission.

Moreover, BPN resides on servers and networks at the University of California, Berkeley, which, being a state-funded institution, cannot permit people to use its networks, email and websites for commercial purposes. Therefore, we cannot accept posts that give the impression that BPN is being used to promote or run a business or practice.

Neverthless, we do allow some types of promotional announcements in our newsletters as a service to local parents, but they must follow the rules in the following section.

Promotional postings that BPN accepts

BPN accepts some types of promotional postings in limited amounts because of their high value for local parents. All the BPN newsletters except Advice Wanted and Advice Given, have sections where promotional postings may appear, per the policies below.

Subscribers may not promote their businesses or professional practices in the Advice newsletters, or in the advice sections of the Parents of Teens newsletter.

The types of promotional postings that we do accept are shown below. These postings appear only in the email newsletters; they do not appear on the BPN website with the exception of Tutor postings.

How often you can post a promotional announcement to a BPN newsletter is limited. See Repeated Postings for details. It is up to the BPN moderators to decide whether a post can be allowed under the policies on this page.

Promotional postings that BPN does not accept

BPN doesn't accept any promotional postings that are not in the list above. Here are some examples of postings that we do not accept:

Recommending yourself or your employer

It is OK to recommend yourself or your employer if someone asks for reviews for the type of service you provide. You may also recommend the business of a family member, friend, or colleague. Many BPN subscribers would rather do business with a fellow subscriber than with someone selected randomly from the yellow pages.

However: your message must clearly convey your relationship to the business, service, school or organization.

Reviews submitted by people who work at the school or business have less value for our readers than an unbiased review posted by a happy client. Since a favorable review on BPN can be very beneficial for a local business or school, we take very seriously our requirement that any relationship to the business or school being reviewed must be disclosed.

Failure to disclose your relationship to the business

When we receive a report that a review has been posted by someone with an undisclosed relationship to the business, service, school, or organization, we do investigate. If we find that a favorable review was posted by someone who did not disclose their relationship, we unsubscribe the person who posted, we remove all reviews from the website, and we don't accept further postings about that business, service, school or organization.

Reciprocal reviews and compensated reviews

BPN's mission is to be a helpful resource for parents. The newsletters are not intended as a way to promote local schools and businesses. BPN is run entirely by parent volunteers. BPN subscribers submit reviews not for any personal gain, but rather to help fellow parents make better decisions about local services, businesses and schools. This means that reviews on BPN are often less biased and more reliable than the ones found on other sites.

It is a misuse of BPN to post a favorable review in exchange for compensation of any kind, such as a discount, a reciprocal review, or the fulfillment of some obligation or fee at your child's school.

It is a misuse of BPN to offer your clients discounts, free services, or other compensation on the condition of posting a favorable review on BPN.

If we find that a favorable review was posted under these circumstances, we unsubscribe the person who posted. We remove all reviews for the business or school from the website, and we don't accept further postings about that business or school.

Multi-Level Marketing

BPN does not accept reviews or announcements about goods and services that are sold using multi-level marketing. It is a misuse of the BPN mailing list to promote or recruit new participants for one these businesses. Per Wikipedia: "Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit." (see Multi-level marketing and Wikipedia's list of multi-level marketing companies.)

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this page was last updated: Mar 18, 2014

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