Advertising and Promotion on BPN

Policies

Policies & Resources on Other Pages

See Also


Advertising and Self-Promotion on BPN

Since BPN is a nonprofit whose mission is to support local parents, we have placed limits on advertising and self-promotion on BPN.  Parent-to-parent postings, such as advice and reviews, may only be posted by parents, and may not promote one's own business or that of friends, relatives, or colleagues. (See FAQ for Parent Q&A for more info.)  Local businesses in the community can purchase a community subscription which allows them to post some types of announcements and events.


Promotional postings that BPN accepts

Parent Subscribers: Advice, reviews, and recommendations on BPN can be posted only by parents who subscribe to BPN. All reviews and recommendations must describe a parent's first-hand experience, and may not promote one's own business or that of a friend, relative, or colleague.  (See FAQ for Parent Q&A for more info.) 

Community members who provide services to parents and children in the Bay Area can purchase a Community Subscription to BPN, which allows them to post to the listings below (not reviews or advice, though). Community Subscription fees cover BPN's technical and administrative costs, making it possible for us to remain a not-for-profit, advertising-free resource for the entire community, and to continue to offer free subscriptions to parents. Community Subscribers must live locally and must specifically target children, families, or parents.  BPN does not accept subscriptions for businesses that don't specifically target children, families, or parents.  See About BPN Community Subscribers for information.  

The Events and Announcements listings accept promotional postings from these Community Subscribers:

  • Schools, Preschools, & Childcare Facilities
  • Camps, Classes, & Groups for children, parents, or families
  • Local Businesses, Organizations, and Private Practices that provide services for children, parents, or families

The Childcare listing accepts promotional postings from these Community Subscribers:

  • Babysitters & Nannies offering childcare who purchase an Individual subscription
  • Childcare Facilities that purchase a Daycare/Preschool subscription who are seeking childcare workers
  • Agencies and Businesses with a Business subscription that provide childcare or place childcare providers

The Tutor & Teacher listing accepts promotional postings from these Community Subscribers:

  • Private tutors who teach one-on-one
  • Music and art teachers who teach one-on-one

Promotional postings that BPN DOES NOT accept

BPN doesn't accept :

  • Announcements about services that don't specifically target children, families, or parents
  • Announcements or events that are not in-person and local to the SF Bay Area
  • Events that are not either child-friendly or specifically for parents
  • Reviews of one's own business, or that of a friend, relative, or colleague.

Failure to disclose your relationship to the business

BPN does not accept reviews from the owner or director of the school, business, service, or organization being reviewed, or from an employee, friend, relative, or colleague, past or present.  When we receive a report that a review has been posted by someone with an undisclosed relationship to the school or business, we do investigate. If we find that a review was posted by someone who did not disclose their relationship, we remove the review and send a warning to the poster. Subsequent violations result in unsubscribing the person who posted, we remove all reviews from the website, and we don't accept further postings about that school, business, service or organization.


Reciprocal reviews and compensated reviews

BPN does not accept reviews that were posted in exchange for any kind of favor or compensation, including discounts, reciprocal reviews, or satisfaction of some requirement or obligation. Please see the policy about Reciprocal Reviews and Compensated Reviews for details.


Multi-Level Marketing

BPN does not accept reviews or announcements about goods and services that are sold using multi-level marketing. It is a misuse of BPN to promote or recruit new participants for one of these businesses. Per Wikipedia: "Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit." (see Multi-level marketing and Wikipedia's list of multi-level marketing companies.)


Why we have this policy

Since its founding in 1993,  BPN has never accepted advertising or any other type of paid promotion. Thanks to hard-working volunteer parents, along with donated technical resources from UC Berkeley, BPN has remained a free network for local parents for more than 20 years.  Reviews and recommendations on BPN have a higher value for parents because they are not influenced by paid advertising, corporate sponsorship, or editorial viewpoint.  Over the years, as BPN grew from a dozen grad students at UC Berkeley to more than 30,000 Bay Area parents, we began accepting subscriptions from schools, classes, childcare providers and others "who work with children" in the community. These community subscribers were able to post information about their child-related programs on BPN, and these postings also benefited parent subscribers. When BPN became a non-profit in 2015, we decided to charge a fee for community members to continue subscribing to BPN and posting about their programs, so that BPN can become a self-sustaining organization while still keeping subscriptions free for parents. See About Community Subscribers for details. 

In order to preserve BPN's ad-free parent-to-parent mission, community subscriptions are offered only to those who provide services specifically for parents or children. They may not participate in parent-to-parent discussions on BPN, and their promotional announcements are restricted to specific message boards, as described below.