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Disqus Advertising Content Guidelines
Disqus Advertising Content Guidelines
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Written by Disqus
Updated over a week ago

Disqus Ads provides content marketers with reach into active Disqus communities all over the web. It’s a unique opportunity to capture the attention of a highly engaged audience that is vocal about the things they care about. However, the nature of this audience and the subject-matter diversity across sites using Disqus requires a broad sensibility of acceptance. At Disqus, publishers and users trust us with their space to convene and interact. To maintain that trust, we’re continually enhancing the quality and relevance of content delivered through our Ads features.

The purpose of this document is to provide content marketers with parameters and direction to inform the development of campaign content and headlines that will resonate with the Disqus audience. Disqus will continually refine these parameters based on feedback from users, publishers and advertisers alike. We’ll also modify these as we introduce new tools to customize campaign reach.

Disqus reserves the right to reject content deemed impermissible and inappropriate for its publisher partners. Disqus also reserves the right to suspend campaigns that generate negative feedback after activation. In all cases, Disqus account team members will work with each client to repurpose content and campaign headlines to ensure it both generates engagement and resonates with the Disqus audience. More specific guidance is included in the following.

I. Subject Matter and Language

As a general rule, content intended to provoke negativity, sensationalize or instigate will not be accepted. Explicitly negative headlines directed to a single individual or organization will not be accepted. Content that uses crass or sexually explicit language will also not be accepted. More specifically, content that fits any of the following criteria will not be accepted or sent back for revision:

  • Attempts to capitalize on global, national or local crisis such as natural disasters, political unrest or social issues in poor taste

  • Defames or provokes groups or individuals on the basis of sex, race, religion, social beliefs or national origin

  • Leverages celebrity rumor or scandal in an egregious manner

  • Makes a pejorative claim about a company competitor or individual

  • Uses sexually explicit language

  • Refers to sexual(ized) body parts or sexual or bathroom activities

  • Contains profanity or crude or off-putting slang

  • Solicits funds or makes promises or claims of profit

  • Refers to violence or violent acts

In addition, companies and organizations operating in fields of frequent controversy may not be accepted depending on the nature and substance of content. These fields include adult entertainment, firearms, political advocacy, government, defense contracting, energy, tobacco and finance.

II. Disclosure and Attribution

Advertisers must clearly attribute their company or brand name as the source of the content within the Disqus Ads feature. This attribution serves to help users distinguish the advertiser content from other content as well as ensure the brand name is featured. The use of misleading or vague content source names will not be accepted.

III. Types of Content

All promoted content links must take the user directly to the content described in the headline. Promoted links must deliver on the user expectation that they’ll be taken to a page to read more about the subject matter included in the headline. It cannot direct them to a conversion or lead generation vehicle such as a whitepaper, direct response promotion or webinar registration page. It cannot link to an automatic download page (including a PDF), e-commerce site, homepage, pop-up ad, or product sell-sheet.

Forms of content to link to include: blog posts, videos, slideshows, articles and third-party reviews. In short, it must be content and content that is represented in a transparent manner.

IV. Subject Matter that Will Work

Disqus users are more engaged and more likely to share than the average Internet audience. Ultimately, they want to discover more content worth talking about. But it need not be sensationalist in nature to engage them. Following are recommendations for the kinds of content that have been found to be effective at reaching the Disqus audience:

  • Instructional or educational. With clear descriptors. (Example: How to Make the Perfect Margarita)

  • Thought provoking. With headlines that prompt a question. (Example: What NASA Could Teach the Energy Industry)

  • Material. With a callout to intended audience. (Example: Acme CEO: A Letter to Our Shareholders)

  • Punchy. With something at stake. (Example: 5 Health Facts that Could Save Your Life)

  • Current. With timely relevance. (Example: Plan Your Last Minute 4th of July BBQ)

  • Playful. Without being overt or offensive. (Example: The Miley Cyrus Dress that Has Everyone Talking)

  • Video. With “video” in the headline. (Ex: Video: Beyonce Rocks the Superbowl)

For more guidance, please read our Editorial Playbook.

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