Campaign Communications

Political Advertisement Disclosures

See the Political Advertising Disclosure Charts for information on what disclaimers are required for campaign advertisements.  

The disclosure portion of the ad identifies the person or entity who paid for and authorized the communication so that potential voters may know who is funding campaign advertisements. The Political Reform Act requires specific disclosures for certain types of communications. 

Please note that disclosures must be updated in a timely manner if the committee name changes and/or if there are new $50,000 donors. For more information see our Campaign Disclosure Manuals.

Reporting Advertisement Expenses

In addition to including proper disclaimers on political advertisements, candidates are also required to disclose advertising expenses and contributions on their campaign reports.  Please note that more than one report may be required.  For more information, see the appropriate filing schedules and our Campaign Disclosure Manuals.

  • Communication by candidate committee for himself/herself -  Form 460, Schedule E
  • Communication by candidate committee against opponent - Form 460, Schedule E
  • Communication by other committee for candidate (coordinated with candidate) - Form 460, Schedule C
  • Communication by other committee for candidate (NOT coordinated with candidate) - No reporting required by candidate

Additionally, in general, no reporting is necessary for the following activities so long as no payments are made to or by the candidate committee.

  • Endorsements
  • Political debates
  • Regularly scheduled organizational meetings where a candidate is invited to speak
  • Member-only communications such as newsletters
  • Voter registration and Get-Out-the-Vote activities

Other Advertising Issues

Certain issues concerning political advertisements do not fall within the purview of the Political Reform Act. Please see the links below for more information.

Sign Placement

Contact local elections officials for information on posting signs in local jurisdictions.  To place signs near freeways, contact the California Department of Transportation website for information about the State Outdoor Advertising Act.

Vandalism of Campaign Signs

Contact your local district attorney or city attorney.

False or Misleading Advertisements

Contact the Secretary of State's Investigative Services Unit at (916) 653-4245.

Unwanted Political Calls

Visit the Federal Trade Commission website to register for the "Do Not Call" list.

Advertising Violations

To file a complaint about a violation of campaign advertisement disclaimer rules, visit the Enforcement page of FPPC's website.  Please note that committees and their candidates and treasurers may be fined up to $5000 per violation.  These types of complaints are some of the most common filed with the FPPC. 

The following sections are from the Political Reform Act and can be found in it. The regulations are individually linked.

Important Definitions

Section 82031             Independent Expenditure
Section 82041.5          Mass Mailing
Section 82048.3          Slate Mailer
Section 84106             Sponsored Committee; Identification
Section 84107             Ballot Measure Committee; Identification
Regulation 18435        Mass Mailing and Sender
Regulation 18450.1     Definitions. Advertisement Disclosure


Mass Mailings/Slate Mailers/Phone Calls

Section 84305             Requirements for Mass Mailing
Section 84310             Identification Requirements for Telephone Calls
Regulation 18901.1     Campaign Related Mailings Sent at Public Expense



Section 84501              Advertisement
Section 84502              Disclosure; Committee Name
Section 84503              Top Contributor Disclosure
Section 84504              Disclosure; Radio and Telephone Ads
Section 84504.1           Disclosure; Video and Television Ads
Section 84504.2           Disclosure; Print Ads
Section 84504.3           Disclosure; Electronic Media Ads
Section 84504.4           Disclosure; Radio and Television Ads; Political Parties and Candidates
Section 84504.5           Disclosure; Independent Expenditure Ads; Political Parties and Candidates
Section 84504.7           Disclosure; Text Messages
Section 84505              Avoidance of Disclosure
Section 84506.5           Disclosure; Independent Expenditure Ads; Not Authorized by Candidate
Section 84509              Amended Disclosure
Section 84510              Remedies for Article Violations; Civil Action; Fines
Section 84511              Ballot Measure Ads; Paid Spokesperson Disclosure
Regulation 18450.5      Amended Advertising Disclosure


This toolkit provides guidance and a general overview of the rules for campaigns, but it does not replace any requirements under the Political Reform Act or Fair Political Practices Commission Regulations.  Information here should be used in conjunction with a careful review of the applicable laws.

How to Request Advice

If you have questions about your obligations under the Act you can request advice directly from FPPC staff