(a) Basic Requirements. - It shall be unlawful for any sponsor to sponsor an advertisement in the print media or on radio or television that constitutes an expenditure, independent expenditure, electioneering communication, or contribution required to be disclosed under this Article unless all the following conditions are met:
(1) It bears the legend or includes the statement: "Paid for by ____ [Name of candidate, candidate campaign committee, political party organization, political action committee, referendum committee, individual, or other sponsor]." In television advertisements, this disclosure shall be made by visual legend.
(2) The name used in the labeling required in subdivision (1) of this subsection is the name that appears on the statement of organization as required in G.S. 163-278.7(b)(1) or G.S. 163-278.12C(a).
(3) Repealed by Session Laws 2001-353, s. 5, effective August 10, 2001.
(4) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 56.1, effective January 1, 2014.
(5) In a print media advertisement supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates, the sponsor states whether it is authorized by a candidate. The visual legend in the advertisement shall state either "Authorized by [name of candidate], candidate for [name of office]" or "Not authorized by a candidate." This subdivision does not apply if the sponsor of the advertisement is the candidate the advertisement supports or that candidate's campaign committee.
(6) In a print media advertisement that identifies a candidate the sponsor is opposing, the sponsor discloses in the advertisement the name of the candidate who is intended to benefit from the advertisement. This subdivision applies only when the sponsor coordinates or consults about the advertisement or the expenditure for it with the candidate who is intended to benefit.
(7), (8) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 56.1, effective January 1, 2014.
If an advertisement described in this section is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall name all the sponsors.
(b) Size Requirements. - In a print media advertisement covered by subsection (a) of this section, the height of all disclosure statements required by that subsection shall constitute at least five percent (5%) of the height of the printed space of the advertisement, provided that the type shall in no event be less than 12 points in size. In an advertisement in a newspaper or a newspaper insert, the total height of the disclosure statement need not constitute five percent of the printed space of the advertisement if the type of the disclosure statement is at least 28 points in size. If a single advertisement consists of multiple pages, folds, or faces, the disclosure requirement of this section applies only to one page, fold, or face. In a television advertisement covered by subsection (a) of this section, the visual disclosure legend shall constitute four percent (4%) of vertical picture height in size, and where the television advertisement that appears is paid for by a candidate or candidate campaign committee, the visual disclosure legend shall appear simultaneously with an easily identifiable photograph of the candidate for at least two seconds. In a radio advertisement covered by subsection (a) of this section, the disclosure statement shall last at least two seconds, provided the statement is spoken so that its contents may be easily understood.
(c) Misrepresentation of Authorization. - Notwithstanding G.S. 163-278.27(a), any candidate, candidate campaign committee, political party organization, political action committee, referendum committee, individual, or other sponsor making an advertisement in the print media or on radio or television bearing any legend required by subsection (a) of this section that misrepresents the sponsorship or authorization of the advertisement is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (1999-453, s. 2(a); 2001-317, s. 1; 2001-353, s. 5; 2010-170, s. 8; 2013-381, ss. 44.2, 56.1.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014