Endorsement of Commercial Services or Products by UIC Employees

Policy Number: MBM-6100-001

Policy Title: Endorsement of Commercial Services or Products by UIC Employees (view the full policy)

Vice Chancellor/Associate Chancellor: Vice Chancellor for Public and Government Affairs

Unit Responsible for Policy: Marketing and Brand Management

Effective Date: February 9, 2017

Contacts: Senior Executive Director of Marketing and Brand Management

Policy Statement:  Except with prior written approval by the senior executive director of Marketing and Brand Management, an employee of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) may not participate in any commercial Testimonial, Endorsement, Promotion or similar activity, in any form of media—including, but not limited to print, radio, TV and social media—in a manner that either directly or indirectly: (1) indicates that such employee is doing so on behalf of UIC; or (2) uses UIC Assets.

Employees may provide factual information about UIC’s use of commercial products or services, or about relationships between UIC employees and representatives of external entities. They may not, however, offer any value judgment about the quality of the commercial product, service, organization or person on behalf of UIC unless specifically authorized to do so.

Before granting approval for any third party to utilize UIC Assets in any Testimonials, Endorsements or Promotions, UIC reserves the right to examine a copy of the text, images and context of the project in advance to ensure that it contains no inaccurate or misleading references. UIC has the right, at its sole discretion, to refuse to grant such approval and to deny participation by UIC employees or representatives in cases where the project does not benefit UIC.

If consent to participate in a Testimonial, Endorsement or Promotion is granted by the senior executive director of Marketing and Brand Management, it is the UIC employee’s responsibility to complete all necessary Report of Non-University Activities and Conflict of Commitment and Conflict of Interest requirements.  The employee must also comply with all applicable laws as well as UIC’s policies and procedures.

This policy does not prohibit or limit employees’ rights to free speech as citizens, nor does this policy prohibit or limit faculty members’ academic freedom (described in the University of Illinois Statutes, Art. X, Sect. 2).

Reason for Policy:  The names of UIC and UI Health are University of Illinois property owned by The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and are Assets subject to management for the purpose of ensuring that they and other Assets are used for the benefit of the institution. Management of UIC’s Assets by a responsible campus officer can reduce exposure to legal and reputational risk, ensure that employees follow ethical standards, and align the promotion of UIC’s image with its communication goals and strategies. 

Minority Impact Statement: This policy does not have any disproportionate or unique impact on UIC’s minority students, staff, or faculty.

Who Should Read the Policy:  All UIC faculty, staff, or other employees or representatives at the Chicago Campus and its regional or other sites (including but not limited to all UI Health sites).

Definitions:

  • Assets: any property, tangible items, programs, services, or activities owned by UIC that could provide a benefit to a third party. These include, but are not limited to, the UIC and UI Health names, trademarks, service marks, logos, signage, social media channels, and websites.
  • Endorsement: any action that suggests or implies UIC’s public approval or support of other organizations, companies, products, services, political parties or views, or religious organizations or beliefs.
  • Promotion: the act of raising public awareness of an organization, company, product, service, political party or view, or religious organization or belief. Promotion refers to external communication with an individual or entity outside of the University that is intended to be viewed by the general public.
  • Testimonial: a formal, public statement testifying to the qualifications of a third-party organization or the efficacy of the organization’s products, goods, services, views or beliefs.

Procedures: View the procedures on the Marketing and Brand Management website.

Forms:

Related Regulations, Statutes, and Related Policies:  

Document History:  Updates UIC Endorsement Policy passed by the CVC in September 2015.