Sheffield Students’ Union Advertising Policy 2019/20

The Students’ Union shall advance the education of students at the University of Sheffield for the public benefit by representing the students of the University locally and nationally, organising services and activities to meet their needs, and providing opportunities for their involvement and personal development.

The Students’ Union provides numerous opportunities for organisations and businesses to work in partnership in order to profile their products and services to students. We seek to maximise revenue from these advertising and sponsorship opportunities, whilst promoting our ethics and values. In order to ensure we work only with companies who share our ethics, we have developed this policy to guide our partnerships.

All queries of this policy are to be directed to the Head of Advertising and Sponsorship Department. It is his responsibility to review the document twice every academic year, consulting with the Student Officers, relevant staff, students and other interested groups.

  1. Organisations, products and services
  2. Style and content of advertising
  3. Review of Policy

Organisations, products and services

Sheffield Students’ Union is keen to work with a wide range of organisations and businesses. There are however some who we choose to not work with, where we feel they are involved with or promoting products and practices which contradict our beliefs and policies. These decisions can involve the input and influence of the Officer team in order to reach a satisfactory outcome. Certain activities are identified with our governing documents, polices and other statements:


Under the terms of Bye-Law 19 of the Students’ Union Constitution, the Students’ Union “may resolve to have no dealings with, or facilitate the promotion of, companies or organisations on the grounds of:

  • Involvement in the arms trade
  • Use of animals for cosmetic or nonmedical experimentation.
  • Actions harmful to the environment.
  • Actions which violate human rights.
  • Unfair exploitation of Third World countries.
  • Racist, homophobic, transphobic or sexist policies.”


  • Actions harmful to the environment is interpreted as:
    Both in terms of unreasonable destruction of local ecosystems and in contributing to devastating climate change.
  • Actions which violate human rights is interpreted as:
    Both providing false or misleading information and poor treatment and working conditions for employees.


Organisations or companies that contravene any Sheffield Students’ Union Policies may not be permitted to advertise with the Students’ Union.

A full list of policies can be found here

Named organisations

There are some specific organisations, products and services which may not be advertised by the Students’ Union for the above reasons as defined below

  • Nestle, and any sub brand of
  • The Sun Newspaper
  • Full service units of the Army, Navy and RAF
  • Barclays

The process for banning and removing a company from the barred list is detailed in the constitution, Bye-Law 19

Others Prohibited Categories

As a Students’ Union there are activities and organisations that we feel are not suitable for our student population due to the nature of their business. These may not be permitted to advertise with the Students’ Union and are

  • Body-shaming, or reinforcing negative body image
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Lap dancing
  • Clinical trials
  • Gambling
  • Greyhound racing
  • Money Lending
  • Tobacco or e-cigarettes
  • Organisations with 3 star food hygiene certification or less


Companies or organisations that potentially constitute direct competition with Sheffield Students’ Union outlets and services will only be permitted to advertise on agreement by SU Development Officer in consultation with the Director of Social Enterprise.

Religious groups

Only those groups who are approved by the University of Sheffield Chaplaincy are permitted to advertise.


Only those charities approved by our External Engagement department are permitted to advertise. They will receive a discount of 1/3 off the standard rate.

Students’ Union Student Groups

Representative and Working Committees are encouraged to work in partnership with the Advertising and Sponsorship team to secure any agreements. This is to

  • Avoid clashes with current partners
  • Avoid repeat enquiries
  • Ensure correct organisations are targeted
  • Ensure products are relevant and attractive
  • Ensure all potential partners adhere to the advertising policy

Societies will be asked to consider not obtaining sponsorship from organisations involved in/contravening (a) prohibited areas; (b) SU Polices;(c) named organisations and (d) other prohibited categories.

Societies will be encouraged to provide details of sponsorship income to the Head of Advertising & Sponsorship. The Zone Desk will refer any student groups who have signed unfavourable contracts and/or who are having difficulty being paid sponsorship income, to the Advertising & Sponsorship Department for their advice.

They may display the logos of their sponsors, providing they adhere to this advertising policy and are permitted to advertise and promote events, socials and activities, even though they may take place in venues other than Sheffield Students’ Union, as long as this is their promotion and not that of the external venue.

Activities and Sports Fair

External advertising which is not University run such as Hotels and Military Service Units are not permitted to advertise inside the Activities and Sports Fairs if an equitable distribution of space cannot be guaranteed for student groups. Moreover, if this requirement is met and external groups are allowed in then they should not be afforded more space or areas of greater footfall than student groups. The primary purpose of these fairs is to help students join groups to enhance their student life; this shouldn’t be or appear to be compromised.

Arrangements with the University

The University of Sheffield careers service receive advertising free of charge as long as there is no cost to Sheffield Students’ Union and no commercial element to the booking. This does not include external graduate employers, as they are not considered part of the careers service. If a Careers Fair is to be advertised all stall holders must be Sheffield Students' Union Policy compliant.

Local employers who book through Jobshop are entitled to a discount of 50% when they are promoting part-time vacancies to students at Sheffield Students’ Union.

All services provided by the Student Support Services Department are entitled to free advertising the Students’ Union. These include but are not limited to

  • Student Access to Mental Health Services (SAMHS)
  • University Counselling Service (UCS)
  • University Health Service (UHS)
  • Disability and Dyslexia Support Service (DDSS)
  • Student Administration Service
  • Student Support Services Information Desk (SSiD)
  • Student Support and Guidance, which includes Central Welfare and Guidance (CWAG)

Under the current agreement, Enactus are entitled to

  • 6 stall spaces (beach Huts) per year
  • 1 Activities Fair Stall
  • 1 ReFreshers Fair Stall

Any additional stall space and media required is to be negotiated with the Advertising and Sponsorship team

Sport Sheffield’s non-commercial aspects (Social Sport) are entitled to free advertising in the Students’ Union, the S10 Gym receive a 1/3 off the standard rate.

All Internal and other University Departments receive a 1/3 off the standard rate of advertising.

Blackwells Bookshop will receive advertising Free of Charge when a University lecture stall is arranged through the University department. Other advertising is charged at the standard rate.

Service Units, specifically the University Officer Training Corps (UOTC), Navy Cadets and University Air Squadron are permitted to establish a promotional stand on the concourse during intro week by arrangement with the University. This allows for student members of the Units to provide information for new students who might be interested in joining. The student members staffing the stand must not wear full military uniform, but be recognisable as Unit representatives. The number of representatives will be subject to agreement between the units and the SU Advertising team.

The Units may also attend the fairs charged at the standard rate and again not wearing full uniform.

Representatives of the Units may assemble on the concourse at 11.00am as part of national annual remembrance events. Full uniform is worn on this occasion.

Sports Clubs are allowed to obtain advertising and sponsorship independently and externally. Details of the agreements need to be passed on to the Advertising and Sponsorship Team.

They may display the logos of their sponsors and are permitted to advertise and promote events, socials and activities, even though they may take place in venues other than Sheffield Students’ Union, as long as this is their promotion and not that of the external venue.

The Students’ Union will only promote landlords and letting agents who provide student tenants with good quality housing, which is well managed and maintained. The Students’ Union also wishes to influence the Sheffield student housing market in the best interests of our members.

In order to achieve our aims, the Students’ Union is keen to promote Sheffield City Council’s SNUG management and property standards to students and housing providers, as a way of improving standards in student housing across the city.

In order to support the Students’ Union housing strategy, a landlord or letting agent wishing to advertise through any of the Students’ Union’s channels including; website, social media, sponsorship, in the building or at events such as the Housing Fair must satisfy at least one of these criteria:

  • Some of their properties must be registered with the University’s private sector registration scheme or Lettings Agency (managed by Smart Move)
  • Some of their properties must be part of the City Council Snug scheme
  • Be covered by the National Code for non-Educational Establishments (the ANUK code)

Those that satisfy the above criteria will be permitted to advertise with the Students’ Union but between 1st September and 31st October this may only be printed/display advertisement and must be for that academic year, or generic. They may not have a physical presence or advertise in the SU for properties for the next academic year until November. This is to discourage early signing of tenancy agreements with the exception of those advertised with the Lettings Agency.

This will be monitored closely and any adverts may be removed immediately without any financial loss to the SU.

The Student Advice Centre will determine and confirm that the above conditions are met or not. They also reserve the right to decline landlords and agents advertising, where there are significant and unresolved casework issues.

We will consider allowing access to our channels to those who are not snug or have an application with SNUG pending.

These could be offered the chance to advertise only from 1st November to 31st August at a rate of £50.00 above the standard rate per media option. This is to encourage them to use the SNUG registration scheme in order to gain the standard rates and priority advertising within an increasingly competitive market.

Each decision will be made on a case-by-case basis after investigation and by including the Advice Centre and Smart Move in the decision.

Third party websites which simply showcase different properties are not permitted to advertise in the Students’ Union.

Students with housing related queries or complaints about a landlord/letting agent should contact

Style and content of advertising

  • Overtly sexual, reinforcing negative body image or body-shaming images must not be used such as beach body ready or other similar.
  • Advertisements must contain no false or misleading offers.
  • Adverts must not show alcoholic strength, relatively high alcohol content, or the intoxicating effect, as a dominant theme.
  • Adverts must not condone, encourage or glamorise excessive drinking/drunkenness or encourage anti-social behaviour. Effects of intoxication should not be referred to in any favourable manner.
  • Adverts must not refer to consuming alcohol to recover from previous over-indulgence.
  • The main message for pubs and bars should be the food offering rather than drinks and drinking
  • Prices shown on adverts must adhere to Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model
  • Advertisements for housing must not actively encourage students into rushing to book their accommodation and must not refer to a desirable date to book by.
  • Where a rental price is included within an advertisement, the basic contract structure relating to that price must also be referenced in the copy e.g. length of contract term and included items. A sample of the contract relating to rooms at that price must be supplied to The Students’ Union Advertising & Sponsorship Department.
  • Where any additional service (e.g. internet access, gym provision,) is referred to within an advertisement and rental price is also included in the copy, it must be made clear whether these services are included in the price or at an additional cost.

Review of Policy

The Student Executive Committee will review this policy in November (after the new intake activity) and April (in anticipation of sales for the next intake activity) each year.