Newspapers Should Proof All Legal/Public Notice Ad Drafts
This is a reminder that newspapers placing legal ads and public notices should always proof/edit draft ads for format, typos, and compliance with statutory requirements to the extent possible. While ultimate responsibility for ad compliance is with the customer placing the ad, it is still good business practice to perform this editing function. Such review should apply to ad drafts that have been placed through the Column platform as well as those that have not. Column relies on the expertise of the newspaper to help ensure format accuracy.
This editing function can be especially important where there has been turnover in the local government’s planning & zoning division which may result in less experienced staff who will need to rely on newspaper expertise.
A particular area where the newspaper should be especially attentive are local government (counties and cities) notices of hearings on zoning ordinances involving 10 acres or more. These notices have fairly detailed requirements related to the timing, number, format and size of the ad. Further, such ads must be accompanied by a map. The full provision pertaining to counties is in section 125.66(4).
If you have any questions on ad legality, reach out to the customer placing the ad and alert them. Sam at FPA can also assist if any legal questions arise. Good editing of ads will reduce the chance of an ad having to be readvertised with possible additional costs and delays to the customer.