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PDFWAC 390-18-050

Commercial advertisersPublic inspection of records.

(1) "Commercial advertiser" as that term is used in the act and these rules means any person, as defined in the act, including individuals and entities, that sells the service of communicating messages or producing material for broadcast or distribution to the general public or segments of the general public whether through brochures, fliers, newspapers, magazines, television, radio, billboard, direct mail advertising, printing, paid internet or digital communications, or any other means of mass communications used for the purpose of appealing, directly or indirectly for votes or for financial or other support in any election campaign.
(2) Any person that hosts political advertising or electioneering communications on a digital communication platform or other media is not required to maintain records on such advertising or communications if it has been purchased directly through another commercial advertiser, however the commercial advertiser that directly sells the advertising or communications to the original purchaser must maintain the information as required in this section.
(3) Pursuant to RCW 42.17A.345, each commercial advertiser who has accepted or provided political advertising, or electioneering communications, as defined in RCW 42.17A.005, must maintain current books of account and related materials as required by this section. Until such time as the PDC provides an open access platform on its website for this information, which will replace the following methods of inspection for all required information, such information must be available for public inspection by any person, and provided:
(a) In person during normal business hours; or
(b) Electronically, in machine readable format and structured in a way that enables the data to be fully discoverable and useable by the end user:
(i) By digital transmission, such as email, promptly upon request; or
(ii) By online publication in one of the following formats:
(A) On the advertiser's primary website; or
(B) On a website controlled by the advertiser, created for purposes of publishing the information required by this section, if a link is prominently displayed on the advertiser's primary website directing users to the website on which the information is provided.
(4) Information regarding political advertising or electioneering communications must be made available within twenty-four hours of the time when the advertisement or communication initially has been publicly distributed or broadcast, and within twenty-four hours of any update or change to such information. Such records must be maintained for a period of no less than five years after the date of the applicable election.
(5) The information and books of account that must be maintained open for public inspection pursuant to RCW 42.17A.345 are:
(a) The name of the candidate or ballot measure supported or opposed or the name of the candidate otherwise identified, and whether the advertising or communication supports or opposes the candidate or ballot measure;
(b) The name and address of the sponsoring person or persons actually paying for the advertising or electioneering communication, including the federal employee identification number, or other verifiable identification, if any, of an entity, so that the public can know who paid for the advertising or communication, without having to locate and identify any affiliated entities;
(c) The total cost of the advertising or electioneering communication, or initial cost estimate if the total cost is not available upon initial distribution or broadcast, how much of that amount has been paid, as updated, who made the payment, when it was paid, and what method of payment was used; and
(d) Date(s) the commercial advertiser rendered service.
(6) In addition to subsection (5) of this section and pursuant to RCW 42.17A.345, the materials and books of account open for public inspection must include the political advertisement or electioneering communication itself, and a description of the major work components or tasks, as specified in (a) through (g) of this subsection, that were required to provide the advertising or communications services.
(a) For printers, reproducers and other persons who provide commercial duplicating services: Quantity of items, item description, design, layout, typesetting, photography, printing, silk screening, binding.
(b) For mailing services: Quantity of items mailed, binding, stuffing, labeling, list or directory services, postage or delivery.
(c) For broadcast media: Air time and number of spot advertisements. If the broadcaster provides additional services such as copy writing, talent, production, and tape reproduction, some type of record or notation evidencing the additional service must be available.
(d) For billboard or sign companies: Number and location of signs, design, printing and art work, erection/removal costs.
(e) For specialty or novelty commercial advertisers: Quantity of items provided, silk screening, design, printing and art work.
(f) For newspapers and other print media: Amount of advertising space and dates of publication. If the advertiser provides additional services such as design or layout, some type of record evidencing such additional services must be available.
(g) For digital communication platforms: A description of the demographic information (e.g., age, gender, race, location, etc.) of the audiences targeted and reached, to the extent such information is collected by the commercial advertiser as part of its regular course of business, and the total number of impressions generated by the advertisement of communication.
(7) At the request of the PDC, each commercial advertiser required to comply with this section must provide to the PDC copies of the information described above.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 42.17A.110(1), 2019 c 428, and 2019 c 261. WSR 20-02-062, § 390-18-050, filed 12/24/19, effective 1/24/20. Statutory Authority: RCW 42.17A.110(1) and 2018 c 304. WSR 18-24-074, § 390-18-050, filed 11/30/18, effective 12/31/18. Statutory Authority: RCW 42.17A.110(8). WSR 15-12-058, § 390-18-050, filed 5/28/15, effective 6/28/15. Statutory Authority: RCW 42.17A.110. WSR 12-03-002, § 390-18-050, filed 1/4/12, effective 2/4/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 42.17.370 and 42.17.562. WSR 06-11-132, § 390-18-050, filed 5/23/06, effective 6/23/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 42.17.370(1). WSR 99-12-068, § 390-18-050, filed 5/27/99, effective 6/27/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 42.17.370. WSR 93-04-072, § 390-18-050, filed 1/29/93, effective 3/1/93.]
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