[Federal Register: October 20, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 203)]
[Page 62310-62312]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R9-EA-2008-N0241; 97600-9424-0000-7e]

TakeMeFishing.org Web Site Advertising Guidelines

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed guidelines; request for 


SUMMARY: The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) seeks to 
sell advertising on its TakeMeFishing.org Web site to help generate 
revenue from non-Federal funds to expand its outreach program. RBFF has 
drafted advertising guidelines to determine who can advertise and how 
the advertising sales will be operated; we invite the general public 
and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on these 

DATES: Your comments must be received or postmarked on or before 
November 4, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments on the proposed Web site advertising 
guidelines to RBFF Project Officer at 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS-3103 
AEA, Arlington, VA 22203 (U.S. mail or hand delivery) or Mary_
Burke@FWS.gov (e-mail).

Burke@fws.gov (e-mail) or (703) 358-2435.

    Recreational boating and fishing participation rates have declined 
over the past 5 years. Recreational boating and fishing related 
activities contribute to conserving aquatic resources through excise 
taxes collected from sales of fishing equipment and motorboat fuel that 
fund the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program. This program, 
coupled with fishing license sales, makes up more than 80 percent of 
the funding for conservation and protection of aquatic resources in the 
United States. To address the declining participation of recreational 
boating and fishing, Congress passed the Sportfishing and Boating 
Safety Act of 1998, which called for Federal appropriations to be used 
for the National Outreach and Communication Program. The Sport Fishing 
and Boating Partnership Council developed the ``Strategic Plan for the 
National Outreach and Communication Program,'' and the Secretary of the 
Interior approved the Strategic Plan in February 1999.
    RBFF is a nonprofit organization created to carry out the National 
Outreach and Communication Program, whose mission is to increase 
participation in recreational angling and boating and, through those 
experiences, increase the public's awareness of and appreciation for 
the need for conserving and protecting America's aquatic natural 
resources. RBFF is funded through the Sport Fish Restoration and 
Boating Trust Fund. This fund is composed of Federal taxes collected on 
the sale of motorboat fuel and of excise taxes paid by manufacturers of 
fishing tackle. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) 
administers RBFF's funding via a cooperative agreement between the 
Service and RBFF, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding signed 
by the Service, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, the 
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and RBFF.
    The plan, which RBFF was created to implement, specifically calls 
for the implementing organization not to be operated as a ``grants-in-
aid'' organization. The plan also calls for RBFF to ``create an 
industry `hard dollar' fund mechanism to promote, extend and expand the 
outreach program.'' In response, RBFF seeks to sell advertising on its 
TakeMeFishing.org Web site to generate revenue from non-Federal funds 
to expand its outreach program. RBFF has drafted advertising guidelines 
to determine who can advertise and how the advertising sales will be 

Request for Comments

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on the 
draft RBFF advertising guidelines. Comments submitted in response to 
this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your 
address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying 
information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire 
comment--including your personal identifying information--may be made 
publicly available at any time. While you may request that we withhold 
your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so.

TakeMeFishing.org Proposed Advertising Guidelines

    The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) strives to 
make TakeMeFishing.org a valuable resource for its audiences, therefore 
the user experience is the core of the Web site. This experience is 
continually reinforced by its distinct look and feel, functionality, 
personality, and utility. Thus everything that exists within 
TakeMeFishing.org should conform and contribute to the overall user 
experience, including the advertising.

Advertising Philosophy

    RBFF is committed to protecting our user experience by keeping the 
site clean, uncluttered, and free from intrusive advertising. We strive 
to ensure the use of appropriate and tailored messages on our Web site 
that are based on specific boating and fishing interests and affiliated 
with the brands, organizations, and businesses that our users value.
    RBFF provides the following guidelines to help you communicate more 
effectively with your desired audience. Please note that all 
advertising placed within TakeMeFishing.org must adhere to these 
guidelines, and RBFF reserves the right to reject any advertising that 
we deem contrary to our advertising philosophy or these guidelines. 
These guidelines are also subject to change at any time.
    These guidelines are not intended as legal advice, but are a 
general statement of RBFF's advertising standards. RBFF encourages each 
advertiser and its agency to consult with legal counsel before seeking 
to place any display advertising on TakeMeFishing.org. Adherence to 
these guidelines (a) does

[[Page 62311]]

not guarantee acceptance of display advertising content for insertion 
on TakeMeFishing.org, and (b) is not necessarily sufficient to meet the 
standards of local, State, or Federal laws.

    Note: In addition to the guidelines below, all advertising on 
TakeMeFishing.org must comply with our Privacy Policy (at http://
www.takemefishing.org/general/privacy-policy) and Disclaimer (at 

    1. Content restrictions:
    We do not accept advertising from entities debarred or suspended 
from doing business with the Federal Government (http://www.epls.gov/). 
In addition, we do not accept advertising referencing, facilitating, or 
promoting the following:
     Liquor, beer, or wine.
     Tobacco products.
     Adult or dating sites with a sexual emphasis.
     Medical or pharmaceutical products and services.
     Drugs or drug paraphernalia.
     Adult products, including adult films, magazines, Web 
sites, toys, or physical/sexual enhancement products.
     Gambling or gambling portals and educational sites, 
including without limitation, any online casino, sports books, bingo, 
or poker.
     Lotteries (other than official State lotteries sponsored 
by a U.S. State, e.g., Illinois State Lottery).
     Inflammatory religious content.
     Politically religious agendas and/or any known 
associations with hate, criminal, and/or terrorist activities.
     Political content, political agendas, or political issues 
for commercial use.
     Hate speech, whether directed at an individual or a group, 
and whether based upon the race, sex, creed, national origin, religious 
affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, or language of such 
individual or group.
     Web cams or surveillance equipment.
     Web-based non-accredited colleges that offer degrees.
     Software downloads, freeware, or shareware.
     Scams, illegal activity, and/or illegal contests, pyramid 
schemes, or chain letters.
     Loan products that require upfront fees.
    2. Advertising language and image content:
     Provocative images will not be accepted.
     Advertising images may not contain, facilitate, or promote 
adult content, including nudity, sexual terms, or activities that are 
excessively suggestive or sexual.
     Advertisements may not contain, facilitate, or promote 
offensive, profane, vulgar, obscene, or inappropriate language.
     Advertisements may not contain, facilitate, or promote 
defamatory, libelous, slanderous, and/or unlawful content.
    3. Copy representation:
     Advertising copy must directly relate to the content on 
the landing page to which it links.
     Advertising copy must clearly state and represent the 
company, product, or brand that is being advertised.
    4. Copyrights and trademarks:
     Advertisements must not include any content that may be 
deemed as infringing upon the rights of any third party, including 
copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other personal or 
proprietary right, or that is deceptive or fraudulent.
     Advertiser must have intellectual property rights to the 
advertising copy and images and be permitted to display such copy and 
images as advertising on TakeMeFishing.org.
     No advertisement is permitted to contain a link, whether 
directly or indirectly, to a site that contains software downloads, 
freeware, or shareware.
     No advertisement is permitted to facilitate or promote (or 
contain a link to a site that facilitates or promotes):
    (1) Collection of demographic and usage information from a user's 
computer without the user's expressed consent;
    (2) Collection or request of usernames or passwords from any user;
    (3) Proxying user names or passwords for the purpose of automating 
logins to the TakeMeFishing.org Community network;
    (4) Any software that (i) ``sneaks'' onto a user's system and 
performs activities hidden to the user; (ii) may alter, harm, disable 
or replace any hardware or software installed on the user's computer 
without express permission from the user; (iii) is bundled as a hidden 
component of other software whether free or for fee; (iv) automatically 
downloads without RBFF's express prior approval; (v) presents any 
download dialog boxes without a user's expressed action; or (vi) may 
violate or infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any third 
party, including copyright, trademark, patent, or any other proprietary 
    6. Grammar, spelling, and capitalization:
     Advertising copy must be in logical sentence form and 
contain grammatically correct spacing.
     Advertisements must use correct spelling.
     Advertisements may not include unnecessary capitalization 
(such as ``FREE''). Acronyms may be capitalized.
     Advertisements may not include excessive repetition.
    7. Incentives:
     No advertisement may offer incentives to viewers for 
submitting personal information (cell phone numbers, social security 
numbers, physical addresses, or e-mail addresses), or for performing 
any other related tasks.
    8. Landing pages/Destination URLs:
     Advertisements that contain a URL or domain in the copy 
must link to that same URL or domain.
     All users must be sent to the same landing page when an 
advertisement is clicked.
     The advertiser's landing page must match the offer being 
made in the advertisement and must provide detailed disclosures as 
appropriate; in particular, full terms and conditions of the offer must 
be easily accessible.
     Landing pages that generate a pop-up (including ``pop-
overs'' and ``pop-unders'') when a user enters or leaves the page are 
not allowed.
     Advertisements cannot use ``fake'' close behavior (i.e., 
when a user clicks the ``close'' icon on the page, the page should 
close down and no other behavior should result).
     Advertisements cannot utilize ``mouse trapping'' whereby 
the advertiser does not allow users to use their browser ``back 
button'' and traps them on their site and/or present additional/
unexpected behavior (for example: another advertisement or page).
     No advertisement may require viewers clicking on the 
advertisement to submit personal information (cell phone numbers, 
physical addresses, or e-mail addresses) on the landing page in order 
to obtain the information promoted in the advertisement.
     A secure server connection (https) must be used when 
collecting personal information from users.
    9. Prices, discounts, and free offers:
     No advertisement may be deceptive or fraudulent about any 
offer it makes.
     If an advertisement includes a price, discount, or 
``free'' offer, the destination URL that is referenced must link to a 
page that clearly and accurately offers the exact deal displayed in the 
     If an advertisement includes a price, discount, or 
``free'' offer, the

[[Page 62312]]

advertisement must clearly state what action or set of actions is 
required to qualify for the offer.
    10. Punctuation and symbols:
     The use of all symbols, numbers, or letters must adhere to 
the true meaning of the symbol.
     Repeated and unnecessary punctuation or symbols is not 
     Symbols may not be used to substitute for letters (e.g., 
``$ave'' instead of ``save'').
    11. Rich Media advertisements:
     All rich media advertisements, including third-party 
advertisements, must be operationally tested prior to submission for 
placement on TakeMeFishing.org.
     HTML sniffer code must be implemented in order to detect 
whether a user's browser is capable of displaying the Shockwave Flash 
file. A backup banner should be displayed if the user cannot accept 
Shockwave Flash and is required for all rich media advertisements.
     A banner may not produce audio without user initiation. 
Once audio begins, there must be a clear ``pause'' or ``stop'' button.
     An advertisement may not display false functionality or 
contain graphics that simulate interactivity where no such 
interactivity exists.
    12. Spam:
     No advertisement may contain, facilitate or promote 
``spam'' or other advertising or marketing content that violates 
applicable laws, regulations, or industry standards.
    13. Take Me Fishing references:
     Advertisements are not permitted to mention or refer to 
TakeMeFishing.org, its site, or its brand in any manner, including in 
the title, body, image, or destination URLs.
     Advertisements must not use Take Me Fishing\TM\ logos, 
trademarks, or site terminology (including Anglers' Legacy and other 
RBFF graphics, logos, designs, or icons).
     TakeMeFishing.org site features may not be emulated.

Advertiser Responsibilities

    It is the advertiser's responsibility to ensure that:
     All advertising it seeks to place on TakeMeFishing.org 
complies with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws or 
     An advertisement does not violate the intellectual 
property rights of third parties;
     Offers included in any advertising message include all 
material terms that an ordinary person would require in making an 
informed decision about whether to purchase the product or service 
being offered;
     All claims made in an advertisement have been 
substantiated before the advertisement is scheduled to appear on 
     Advertising that includes warranties, guarantees, or other 
types of assurances to the user complies with all applicable laws, 
regulations, or guidelines regarding such assurances, including but not 
limited to those set forth by the Federal Trade Commission (``FTC''); 
     Users are not deceived into providing personal information 
without the user's knowledge, under false pretenses, or to companies 
who resell, trade, barter, or otherwise misuse that personal 

RBFF Rights

    RBFF reserves the right, but is not under any obligation to:
     Review or request changes to any advertisement scheduled 
for insertion on TakeMeFishing.org;
     Accept, retract, or reject, at any time, any advertisement 
submitted for placement on TakeMeFishing.org, in its sole discretion, 
whether on the basis of these guidelines, advertising format, targeting 
criteria, or for any other reason;
     Review any advertisement to determine the appropriateness 
of the advertisement for the TakeMeFishing.org user audience; or
     Modify these guidelines or their standards governing 
advertising on TakeMeFishing.org at any time without notice.
    Specifically, RBFF reserves the right to reject or retract, at any 
time, any advertising deemed to, in RBFF's sole opinion:
     Be misleading, deceptive, false, or untrue;
     Use ``bait and switch'' tactics, i.e., advertising that 
promotes an unavailable product, service, or price as a means of luring 
the user into purchasing a different product;
     Promote or glorify violence, crime, obscenity, the illegal 
use of weapons, or to provide instructions on how to ``get away'' with 
crimes or unlawful activity;
     Promote stereotypes, or inaccurately portray or attack an 
individual or group on the basis of age, color, national origin, race, 
religion, sex, sexual orientation, or handicap;
     Be offensive or disturbing to users of TakeMeFishing.org, 
or likely to cause outrage, general disapproval, or negative opinion 
within the community; or
     Portray minors (or persons who, in RBFF's opinion, appear 
to be underage) in a manner that is sexually suggestive or otherwise 

    Dated: September 24, 2008.
Rowan W. Gould,
Acting Director.
 [FR Doc. E8-24850 Filed 10-17-08; 8:45 am]