Third Party Advertising

A third party is any person or entity that is not a political party, candidate or constituency association, and that engages in political advertising.  Third parties include corporations, partnerships, unincorporated businesses and associations, and many other groups.

A third party advertisement is a message in any medium (billboard, newspaper, radio, etc.) that supports or opposes a candidate or a question on the ballot.  Third party advertising does not include issues-based advertising so groups that do public outreach can continue their advocacy work throughout the municipal election period.  Advertising that does not cost money to post or broadcast, such as comments on a social media platform will not be considered to be third party advertising.

Third party advertisers will be required to register with the municipality where they want to advertise.  If they want to advertise in more than one municipality, they have to register in each municipality.  Third party advertising must be done independently of candidates, who are not able to direct a third party advertiser.  Candidates are not eligible to register as third party advertisers.  Registration begins on the first day for filing nominations and ends on the Friday before voting day (May 1, 2018 to October 19, 2018).  There is no registration fee.

A registered third party must provide the following information to the broadcasters or publisher in writing before the third party advertisements appear:

  • the name of the registered third party;
  • the name of the business address and telephone number of the individual who deals with the broadcaster or publisher under the direction of the registered third party;
  • the municipality where the registered third party is registered.

Third party advertisers are required to follow the same campaign finance rules as candidates.