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Paid Online Media Guidelines

The following is guidance to purchase advertising from a UH online account directly through a digital or social media platform.

If you are contracting for paid advertising on a digital or social media platform with an outside firm, please process your contract using standard protocol.

Contracts Process

  • Advertising on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, X, Google Ads, YouTube and Bing generally requires a click-through consent to the platform’s Terms of Service or Terms and Conditions (“Terms”).
  • Agreeing to the Terms is a contract between the University and the platform.
  • To be in compliance with UH policies and audits, any click-through consent to the platform’s Terms for paid advertising by UH needs to be processed through the college/division business administrator and submitted to General Counsel’s Office of Contracts Administration (“OCA”) for review.
  • Often the Terms cannot be modified and an account representative is not available. In this case, the division/college/office taking out the advertising needs to understand the Terms, agree to compliance and take full responsibility for the Terms and provide a Supporting Letter to OCA (see below) stating such understanding and responsibility.
  • The Terms contract packet should be submitted to OCA prior to taking out any paid social media or digital ads.
  • A new Terms contract packet should be resubmitted at any point the UH entity responsible for the advertising becomes aware of a change in the Terms or whenever there is a new ad purchase. If multiple purchases of advertising are made from the same vendor, consult with OCA on how often the contract should be re-submitted. UH entities should compare the current set of Terms with the previously OCA-approved Terms on a regular basis to see if a new set of Terms has been promulgated by the vendor. Ideally, a new Terms contract packet should be submitted whenever there is a new advertising purchase, but if that is not feasible, the resubmission structure mentioned in the previous two sentences should be used. Even though many ads are paid on monthly or per ad basis and the contract may read as “$0,” you will still need to estimate the amount of funds you’ll need to encumber to submit the contract.

Items REQUIRED for submission to OCA:

  • Contract Cover Sheet
  • Recommendation for Award Form and any other standard OCA submission documentation
  • Supporting Letter (signed justification letter from relevant department leader stating the need/rationale, expressly understanding and taking responsibility for the Terms)
  • Terms

Items NOT REQUIRED for submission to OCA:

  • Standard Contract Addendum is NOT necessary if there is no account representative and the Terms cannot be modified.
  • IT Hosted Services checklist is not required if the information to be provided to the vendor is not Level 1 information, as defined in SAM 07.A.08. However, the UH entity responsible for the advertising must internally confirm  what level of information is being provided with each contract submission.

Understand the following about Facebook/Instagram advertising:

  • Facebook will allow any account to take out paid advertising and place it on Facebook and/or Instagram. However, a business manager account (best option—allows advertising on multiple Facebook and Linked IG accounts) or ad account (required on FB page and linked IG page) is strongly recommended so that ads are not linked to personal profiles.
  • Accounts new to paid advertising will be billed per ad set, by platform.
  • Accounts that have a history of advertising will be billed monthly based on the spend threshold set in the billing account.
  • The cost of the ad varies and is priced per ad. It is determined by your factors such as your objectives, stated budget, targeted audience size, estimated daily reach, platform placement and promotion type.
  • You are permitted to use Facebook pixels on It will trigger a cookie that will be installed by Facebook.  We address third-party cookies in the UH System privacy policy.

Considerations for Google/Bing advertising:

  • It is recommended to create and use a UH Google Ads account even if you are using a vendor.  Ask the vendor to use your account. This ensures UH keeps all historical data on campaigns and prevents mark-up of ad-buy.
  • Paid advertising through Google Ads/Bing requires you to set up an account through Google.  It is recommended to use the Gmail account that is associated with your UH analytics account.
  • Google bills every 30 days or $500, whichever occurs first. Google only accepts credit cards or direct withdrawals from a checking account.  Because of this, your department will need to work with Accounts Payable to ensure you meet their policies for this type of vendor and billing.
  • Please notify the UMC Director of Online Marketing & User Experience of your paid online campaign plans before you begin them, to help ensure you are not competing with other divisions across the University.

Considerations when contracting with a vendor for online marketing:

  • If you are conducting SEM, please ensure you are coordinating through the UMC Director of Online Marketing & User Experience to ensure you are not competing with other entities across the University for any search/keyword terms.
  • The use of tracking pixels is allowed as long as you are not collecting Level 1 security data.
  • Tracking pixels that may slow down the load time of a webpage are allowed, but they will not be added to the UH homepage.

For information about advertising on online platforms, please contact the Division of University Marketing and Communications: