Platform Acceptable Use and Advertising Policy
Posted: April 13, 2023
Effective: April 30, 2023
You can see our previous AUP here
Understanding these Policies
ANY CAPITALIZED TERMS USED IN THIS AUP, NOT DEFINED HEREIN, ARE DEFINED IN THE PLATFORM GENERAL TERMS OF SERVICE (“GTOS”).
The Platform Acceptable Use and Advertising Policy (“AUP”) provides guidance on what types of content are allowed, not allowed, and rules and requirements for accessing and using the Squaredance Platform and its services.
Squaredance enables Partners and Brands of all sizes, from around the world, to promote a wide variety of products and services across our Platform. We want to help you reach existing and potential customers and audiences. However, to help create a safe and positive experience we regularly review changes in online trends and practices, industry norms, and regulations. And, in crafting our policies, we also think about our values and culture as a company, as well as operational, technical, and business considerations. As a result, we have created a set of policies that apply to all services on the Squaredance Platform.
Squaredance requires that Partners, Brands, and Users of the Platform comply with all applicable laws and regulations and the Squaredance policies described herein. It is important that you familiarize yourself with and keep up to date on these requirements for the places where your business operates, as well as any other places your ads are showing. We have no obligation to review your ad content for compliance with these requirements and the AUP at any time. However, if we find or are notified of content that violates these requirements, we may request you to make changes or suspend your account until changes have been made, and in cases of repeated or egregious violations, we may permanently suspend or terminate you from the Platform.
General Platform Rules
You must follow these rules and must not help or induce others to break or circumvent these rules.
Act with integrity and treat others with respect
- Do not lie, misrepresent something or someone, or pretend to be something or someone else.
- Be polite and respectful when you communicate or interact with others.
- Do not discriminate against or harass others.
Do not scrape, hack, reverse engineer, compromise or impair the Platform
- Do not use bots, crawlers, scrapers, or other automated means to access or collect data or other content from or otherwise interact with the Platform.
- Do not hack, avoid, remove, impair, or otherwise attempt to circumvent any security or technological measure used to protect the Platform or Content.
- Do not decipher, decompile, disassemble, or reverse engineer any of the software or hardware used to provide the Platform.
- Do not take any action that could damage or adversely affect the performance or proper functioning of the Platform.
Only use the Platform as authorized by our Terms and Policies or another agreement with us
- You may only use another User’s personal information as necessary to facilitate a transaction using the Platform as authorized by our Terms and Policies.
- Do not use the Platform, our messaging tools, or Users’ personal information to send commercial messages without the recipient’s express consent.
- You may use Platform Content and User Creatives made available through the Platform solely as necessary to enable your use of the Platform as a Brand or Partner.
- Do not use Platform Content or User Creatives unless you have permission from the owner, or the use is authorized by us in our Terms or Policies or another agreement you have with us.
- Do not request, make, or accept a partnership or any payment outside of the Platform to avoid paying fees, taxes or for any other reason.
- Do not engage in any practices that are intended to manipulate our search algorithm.
- Do not book Partner Services unless you are actually using the Partner Services.
- Do not use, copy, display, mirror or frame the Platform, any Platform Content, any Squaredance Intellectual Property, or any page layout or design without our consent.
Honour your legal obligations
- Understand and follow the laws that apply to you, including but not limited to, privacy, data protection, and advertising laws.
- Read and follow our Terms and Policies.
- Do not use the name, logo, advertising, or trademarks of Squaredance or others without permission.
- Do not use or register any domain name, social media handle, trade name, trademark, advertising, logo, or other source identifier that may be confused with Squaredance.
- Do not offer Partner Services that violate the laws or agreements that apply to you.
- Do not offer or publish Campaigns that violate the laws or agreements that apply to you.
To protect our Platform community and business, the following intentional off-platform actions and behaviours are prohibited:
Taking or encouraging Platform Users off of the Platform for new, partial, or future off-platform partnership or services
- Contacting Users on the Platform to encourage or move off of the Platform (e.g. offering discounts to work together off of the Platform)
- Asking Users on the Platform to fill out forms, or call, email, or otherwise contact you via a non-Squaredance communications service prior to or while working with them on the Platform
- Cancelling existing partnerships on the Platform in order to work together off of the Platform
- Asking or encouraging Users to work together outside of the Platform for repeat or future partnerships
- Including links or embedding buttons (e.g. footers, headers) that take Users off of the Platform to another website in any messages to Users
Asking Users for, or using, contact or identity information in ways unrelated to partnerships, or that compromise the quality of the Platform partnership
- Asking Users for contact information prior to working with them; all User communications prior to and during partnerships must be on the Platform
- Soliciting Users for their email, mailing address, or other communication channels using the Platform messaging system prior to, while or after working with them on the Platform
- Asking for or using Users’ contact information to settle additional payments outside of the Platform; all payments related to a User’s Campaign or Partner Services through the Platform must go through the Platform
- Using contact information from the Platform or provided by Squaredance for other purposes that violate any of our Terms or Policies
- Selling, sharing, or using User contact information for marketing communications or signing Users up for contact lists
Requiring Users to use other websites or applications to access Campaigns or Partner Services
- Asking Users to create a separate external account or register on another application, website, or platform besides Squaredance/the Platform for purposes of gaining access to a Campaign and/or Campaign Content or providing Partner Services
- Asking Users to install a third-party app to access a Campaign and/or Campaign Content; all required Campaign Content and information should be accessible to a User without requiring they have an external application or account
Prohibited Content & Practices
Copyright and brand infringement
Squaredance prohibits copyright and brand infringement. This includes content that contains a trademark or logo or images that are identical to or substantially indistinguishable from the trademark or branding of another or they mimic the brand features of a product, person, or publication, etc., in an attempt to pass themselves off as a genuine product of the brand owner.
Examples of copyright and brand infringement: pages that mimic the look of a well-known publication (ex. Fox News, CNN, Women’s Life), use of celebrity images to imply an affiliation with a brand or celebrity when there is no relationship (ex. fake article about or from “Dr. Oz”)
Typosquatting (also called URL hijacking or domain mimicry) is another example, which is the act of buying URLs similar to famous or well-known ones in hopes that people type the wrong letter when entering a web address or so a page may seem more legitimate. We do not allow this and it, along with Cybersquatting, is illegal in the United States under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
Enabling dishonest behavior
We value honesty and fairness, so we do not allow the promotion of products or services that are designed to enable dishonest behavior.
We value diversity and respect for others, and we strive to avoid offending customers and others, so we do not allow ads or destinations that display shocking content or promote hatred, intolerance, discrimination, or violence.
Examples of inappropriate or offensive content: bullying or intimidation of an individual or group, racial discrimination, hate group paraphernalia, graphic crime scene or accident images, cruelty to animals, murder, self-harm, extortion or blackmail, sale or trade of endangered species, ads using profane language
Abusing the Platform
We want ads across the Platform to be useful, varied, relevant, and safe for customers and others. We do not allow ads, content, or destinations that are malicious.
Examples of abuse of the Platform: promoting content that contains malware; "cloaking" or using other techniques to hide the true destination that Customers are directed to; "arbitrage" or promoting destinations for the sole or primary purpose of showing ads; promoting "bridge" or "gateway" destinations that are solely designed to send customers elsewhere
Data collection and use
We want users to trust that information about them will be respected and handled with appropriate care. As such, our Brands and Partners should not misuse this information, nor collect it for unclear purposes or without appropriate security measures.
Examples of user information that should be handled with care: full name; email address; mailing address; phone number; etc.
Examples of irresponsible data collection & use: obtaining credit card information over a non-secure server; violations of our policies that apply to interest-based advertising and remarketing
We do not want Customers to feel misled by ads. We do not allow ads or destinations that intend to deceive customers by excluding relevant information or giving misleading information about products, services, or businesses.
Examples of misrepresentation: omitting or obscuring billing details such as how, what, and when customers will be charged; failing to display contact information, or physical address where relevant; making offers that aren't actually available; making misleading or unrealistic claims regarding weight loss or financial gain; "phishing" or falsely purporting to be a reputable company in order to get customers to part with valuable personal or financial information
General Prohibited Activities
- Child exploitation: You may not offer goods or services, or post or upload content that exploit or abuse children, including but not limited to images or depictions of child abuse or sexual abuse, or that present children in a sexual manner.
- Harassment, bullying, defamation, and threats: You may not offer goods or services, or post or upload content, that harass, bully, defame or threaten a specific individual.
- Hateful content: You may not use the Platform to promote or condone hate or violence against people based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, medical condition, veteran status, or other forms of discriminatory intolerance. You may not use the Platform to promote or support organizations, platforms, or people that: (i) promote or condone such hate; or (ii) threaten or condone violence to further a cause.
- Illegal activities: You may not offer goods or services, or post or upload content, which contravene or that facilitate or promote activities that contravene, the laws of the jurisdictions in which you operate or do business.
- Intellectual property: You may not offer goods or services, or post or upload content, which infringe on the copyright or trademarks of others.
- Malicious and deceptive practices: You may not use the Platform to transmit malware or host phishing pages. You may not perform activities or upload or distribute content that harm or disrupt the operation of the Platform or other infrastructure of Squaredance or others, including Squaredance’s third party providers. You may not use the Platform for deceptive commercial practices or any other illegal or deceptive activities.
- Personal, confidential, and protected health information: You may not post or upload any content that contain personally identifiable information, sensitive personal information, or confidential information, such as credit card numbers, confidential national ID numbers, or account passwords unless you have consent from the person to whom the information belongs or who is otherwise authorized to provide such consent. You may not use the Platform to collect, store, or process any protected health information subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, any applicable health privacy regulation or any other applicable law governing the processing, use, or disclosure of protected health information.
- Self-harm: You may not offer goods or services, or post or upload content, which promote self-harm.
- Spam: You may not use the Platform to transmit unsolicited commercial electronic messages.
- Terrorist organizations: You may not offer goods or services, or post or upload content, which imply or promote support or funding of, or membership in, a terrorist organization.
Restricted Content & Practices
The policies below cover content that is sometimes legally or culturally sensitive. Online advertising can be a powerful way to reach customers, but in sensitive areas, we also work hard to avoid showing these ads when and where they might be inappropriate.
For that reason, we allow the promotion of the content below, but on a limited basis. These promotions may not show to every user in every location, and Campaigns may need to meet additional requirements before their ads are eligible to run. Note that not all ad products, features, or platforms are able to support this restricted content.
Ads should respect user preferences and comply with legal regulations, so we do not allow certain kinds of adult content in ads and destinations. Some kinds of adult-oriented ads and destinations are allowed if they do not target minors, but they will only show in limited scenarios based on user search queries, user age, and local laws where the ad is being served.
We abide by local copyright laws and protect the rights of copyright holders, so we do not allow ads that are unauthorized to use copyrighted content. If you see unauthorized content, submit a copyright-related complaint to us.
You should ensure that all email transmitted to promote a Brand’s Campaign (if permitted by a Brand) should comply and be consistent with the CAN-SPAM Act and other applicable federal, state and/or provincial laws, regulations and rules, including but not limited to identification of the message as an advertisement or solicitation, a physical postal address for the “sender” of the message (as that term is defined in the CAN-SPAM Act, 15 U.S.C. § 7701 et seq.), and a functioning electronic mechanism by which the recipient of the message can request not to receive future commercial messages from the “sender.” Without limiting any of the foregoing responsibilities and requirements, You should:
- not falsify any email “Header” information, as that term is defined in the CAN-SPAM Act
- not seek or obtain unauthorized access to computers for the purposes of sending out commercial email; including without limitation use of an unauthorized open relay to facilitate distribution of emails
- not alter any “subject” line provided in the Campaign Terms, or otherwise use any “subject” line that is false or misleading. All subject lines not specified in the Campaign Terms must be pre-approved for use by Advertiser in writing
- ensure that the “from” line used in transmitting messages is not materially false or misleading. As provided in the CAN-SPAM Act, a “from” line will not be deemed materially false or misleading if it accurately identifies a person who “initiated” the message (as the term “initiate” is defined in the CAN-SPAM Act)
- ensure that each unsubscribe, or opt-out link is active for 30 days from date the email is sent
- update all mailing lists using current Brand suppression lists (as made available by Brand) not more than five (5) calendar days prior to each mailing, or as otherwise required by law; and
- not send any unsolicited commercial email or other unsolicited online communication
If You reside in Canada or emails are transmitted to persons residing in Canada, You should ensure that You have received consent to send any “commercial electronic messages” pursuant to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (“CASL”) or any of its rules and regulations.
- Lists of email addresses used to distribute Campaigns should be:
- Collected and maintained in compliance with all applicable federal, state and provincial laws, regulations and rules;
- Collected from websites and other online venues only in compliance with the applicable websites’ and or other online venues’ privacy policies, provided that such privacy policies specifically allow for the use of such email addresses as contemplated hereunder; and
- Obtained and collected without employing email address harvesting, dictionary attacks and/or any other deceptive or illegal act and/or practice.
- You should prior to emailing any campaign available in the Platform, download the most recent suppression file(s) for any particular Campaign as made available by Brand through the Platform and Campaign Terms or otherwise, and, for that Campaign, will suppress all email addresses within its database that are found on such list. In addition, for any campaigns that include a domain suppression list, You should prior to emailing the Campaign, download the most recent domain suppression list for any particular campaign and, for that campaign, will suppress all domains within its database found on such list.
- You should download and remove from its email distribution lists the domains located on the FCC's wireless domain names list (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/policy/DomainNameDownload.html) from all current data used in all mailings. You should ensure that any new data that it acquires, regardless of its source, will be run against the FCC's wireless domain names list and that domain names contained therein will be removed before sending any mailings.
If permitted by Brand, You should ensure that all SMS/text messaging transmitted to promote a Campaign should comply and be consistent with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, CAN-SPAM Act and other applicable federal, state and/or provincial laws, regulations and rules, including but not limited to, ensuring there is prior written consent from recipients to receive marketing offers, identification of which company is sending the message and clearly stating the reason for contact, ability of recipient to opt-out of a company’s subscriber list by directly replying to the text, and removing from SMS/text messaging lists any phone numbers listed on the National Do Not Call Registry and individual state registries where applicable.
We want Customers to have adequate information to make informed financial decisions. Our policies are designed to give Customers information to weigh the costs associated with financial products and to protect Customers from harmful or deceitful practices. For the purposes of this policy, we consider financial products and services to be those related to the management and investment of money, including personalized advice.
When promoting financial services and products, you must comply with state and local regulations for any region that your ads target — for example, include specific disclosures required by local law.
There are multiple factors that determine when trademarks can be used in Platform Campaigns. Along with the factors described herein, these policies apply only when a trademark owner has submitted a valid complaint to Squaredance.
Squaredance supports the sale of products to help combat the spread of COVID-19 during this unprecedented global health crisis.
While we are committed to helping communities get what they need at this critical time, any COVID-19 related products sold through Squaredance’s platform must comply with our Terms and Policies.
These rules may change as the pandemic situation evolves, so please check back from time to time to ensure your products remain in compliance.
- Price Gouging: You must not charge excessive prices or engage in deceptive pricing practices for necessary COVID-19 related products (for example, for the resale of medical grade masks, toilet paper, hand sanitizer).
- Claims: Any medical, scientific, or other claims must be true and supported by documented evidence, and where required by law, an adequate and proper test of such claims. Products claiming to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 may be removed from the Platform.
- Compliance with laws: You must comply with all applicable laws and other regulatory requirements relating to the sale of COVID-19 related products, both in your jurisdiction and in the jurisdiction of your customers.
- Appropriate licensing or permissions: You must obtain all applicable licenses or permissions for the products you sell. This includes all applicable licenses, approvals, or authorizations for the sale of medical or health-related products.
- Non-Delivery: Buyers should receive any COVID-19 related products they purchase from you.
When promoting CBD products, you are always responsible for ensuring that you comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and legislation for any region that your ads target.
For example, in the United States, according to the federal Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), all CBD products must comply with the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA has also taken the position that it is not lawful to add CBD to food, dietary supplements, and pet foods. This rule applies, even if the product is defined as containing the hemp plant. Because of this, you must practice caution when selling and marketing CBD products. While it might be tempting to boast about CBD's medicinal properties to the whole world via online CBD marketing, the FDA does not approve of this and you should avoid the following: health and medical claims; untested and unsubstantiated assumptions and claims; and anything that has not been approved by the FDA.
You are always responsible for ensuring that you comply with all applicable laws and regulations, in addition to Squaredance's advertising policies, for all the locations where your ads are showing.
Other restricted businesses
When people click on your ads, we want to be sure that they will not be exploited or deceived. We do not allow Brands to promote untrustworthy business practices.
Common Advertising Compliance Issues
False Advertising Claims
Material advertising claims must be substantiated. There are different types of false advertising claims.
Ad claim is literally false
Example “We are the only manufacturer of BPA-free bottles” is literally not true where a consumer can get a BPA-free bottle manufactured elsewhere.
Ad is implicitly false
An ad may technically be true but misleading at the same time so it is important to consider how and what might the consumer take to be the message.
Example – an ad claiming a product is “cholesterol free” might technically be true but is misleading if the product actually increases cholesterol levels
Ad is “false by necessary implication”
An ad may be literally true but has one unambiguous, false meaning in context.
Example – an ad claiming “No restaurant chef in New York uses an ABC mixer” which suggests that ABC makes a professional-grade mixer rejected by New York chefs – so while the statement may be literally true it would be false by necessary implication if ABC does not actually make a professional-grade mixer
Ad is not substantiated
The evidence required to substantiate an ad depends on what the claims say.
Example – the claim “two out of three doctors recommend ABC” requires a reliable survey Example – an establishment claim, such as “tests prove X,” or “studies show X,” must be supported by “competent and reliable scientific evidence”— i.e., tests, studies, or scientific evidence evaluated by qualified people, using methods accepted by experts
Substantiating Advertising Claims
When an ad contains a claim that can be measured or otherwise proved true or false, there must be a “reasonable basis” for the claims, i.e. the amount and type of substantiation experts in the field believe are reasonable to support to claim.
Health claims, for example, often must be substantiated by well-controlled, double-blind human clinical studies.
Important questions to ask if you are making health claims to sell your product or service
- Does your ad contain numerical or comparative claims (e.g., “contains 20% fewer calories than the leading brand”)?
- Does your ad contain express statements (e.g., “studies prove” or “two out of three doctors recommend”) about the amount or type of support you have for your product or service? If so, do you have the amount or type of support claimed?
- Are you relying on studies of your product to substantiate your claims? If you are relying on studies of other products, do those products contain the same ingredients, in the same quantity and of the same quality, as your product?
- Are there studies of the product about which you are making claims that contradict the study or studies you are relying on for substantiation?
Endorsements and Testimonials
Marketers must disclose material connections with endorsers, and when using consumer testimonials that may represent an atypical experience with a product or service, they must clearly disclose the results that a consumer can generally expect.
Important questions to ask when using endorsements or testimonials
- Does the endorsement fail to accurately represent the endorser’s experience with the product?
- Is the endorser’s experience atypical of what a user of the product or service can expect?
- Was a non-celebrity endorser aware of the possibility of payment prior to making the endorsement? Were they supplied with free products?
- Celebrity endorsers do not need to disclose payment in recognized advertising, but is it clear that the endorsement is an ad? For example, a celebrity tweet may not be perceived as an ad.
- Do you or your organization have an undisclosed relationship with the endorser that could lead to possible bias (e.g., a family member)?
- If your endorser is an “expert” with respect to the product or service, did he/she fail to actually evaluate the product or service?
For more information, click here for FTC Endorsements guidelines and resources.
Negative Option Marketing
Includes pre-notification negative option plans, continuity plans, automatic renewals, and free-to-pay (or nominal fee-to-pay conversions) - these need to be accompanied by clear and conspicuous complete disclosures (e.g., prominent, stated clearly, placed where they will be read, close to where the consumers’ attention is likely to be focused). Negative option marketing rules and guidelines are covered under several US laws, including ROSCA.
Important questions to consider when you are marketing a negative option or continuity plan
- Are the material terms of the negative option offer disclosed in an understandable manner, including existence of the offer price and how to cancel? Are the disclosures clear and conspicuous especially on mobile devices?
- Are the disclosures made before the consumer agrees to buy and enroll?
- Has the consumer indicated in a meaningful way that he or she understands and consents to the negative option offer, not just the trial offer?
- Is there a convenient and effective way to cancel enrollment?
- Is the company honoring its cancellation and refund policies?
- Are you complying with California’s post-transaction confirmation requirement?
- Finally, is the company receiving complaints from consumers, the BBB, or state AGs that consumers do not understand that they are enrolling in the program or are having a difficult time cancelling? If so, you probably need to look at your practices.
When you have paid to place an article about the features and benefits of your product or product category or that disparages a competitor’s product then you should be disclosing the sponsorship of the content.
Important things to consider when using native advertising
- Product placement on television or in movies does not always trigger a disclosure obligation. If the product is shown as selected over other products or providing a benefit to Customers, this likely goes beyond product placement and triggers a need to disclose. Similarly, if the product is being used by an “expert” (e.g., home improvement professional), a disclosure may be needed.
- Have you paid to include a link to news about your brand on a publisher’s website? Disclosure that the link is sponsored is required, and if the news you are linking to is also native advertising, then disclosure should appear in the article as well.
- How have you accomplished disclosure? This can be done in multiple ways, including a statement in the article itself that you were involved in the creation or curation of the content. It can also be done with conspicuous headers that make it clear that the content is “advertising” or is “sponsored,” sometimes with background shading or borders to further distinguish the sponsored content. Disclosure at the end of an article or at the bottom of a webpage is not sufficient. The FTC’s preference is top left above the byline. For video content, the disclosure should be in the video itself and not just in the description at the bottom.
- Do you partner with an advertising widget content provider or service that places links to your content on other third-party publisher websites? If so, make sure the links used to describe your content are accurate and state unmistakably that readers are traveling to advertising content.
For more information, click here for a link to FTC: Made in USA guidelines and resources.
Sale and Free Claims
Consider the following when making “sale” or “free” claims
- Do not have “perma-sales.” Consider flexing your sale and regular price. If a deal is ongoing, it should not be called out in a way that implies it is a limited offer.
- Before making a percentage off or a “compare at” price claim, make sure the higher price used for a comparison is a real price. It should be either a price at which you have sold the goods recently or a price other retailers have used to sell the same product. Never create a fictitious higher price to make “sale” reductions more attractive.
- If you are comparing the price to comparable but not identical merchandise, this needs to be made clear.
- “Free” offers, such as “BOGOs,” must really be free. If customers need to pay separate postage and handling for the free item, this must be disclosed clearly and conspicuously
We would encourage you to check out these helpful resources on common advertising and marketing compliance issues:
We may, at any time and without notice, remove any content, and suspend or terminate your Platform User Account or your access to the Platform if you engage in activities that violate the terms or spirit of this AUP, including activities outside of your use of the Platform.
Squaredance has the right, but not the obligation, to monitor or investigate any content and your use of the Platform at any time for compliance with this AUP and the GTOS or any other agreement between you and Squaredance governing your use of the Platform. Our determination of whether a violation of this AUP has occurred will be final and binding, and any action taken with respect to enforcing this AUP, including taking no action at all, will be at our sole discretion.
Squaredance may modify this AUP at any time by posting a revised version here. By continuing to use the Platform or access your Platform Account after a revised version of the AUP has been posted, you agree to comply with the latest version of the AUP. In the event of a conflict between the AUP and the GTOS, this AUP will take precedence, but only to the extent required to resolve such conflict.
If you believe that a User, Campaign or Campaign Content has violated our Terms or Policies, you should report to Squaredance by contacting us here. If you reported an issue to local authorities, Squaredance may request a copy of that report. Except as required by law, you agree that we are not obligated to take action in response to any report.
If you believe that any content on the Platform infringes copyrights, please notify us.