Are there any exemptions to the sponsorship rules?


  • Admission charges for conferences, meetings or other events - for example party conference entry passes or an admission fee to attend an event organised by or on behalf of a party, regulated organisation or individual
  • The purchase price of any publications
  • Commercial rate payments for adverts in publications – any amounts above the commercial rate will not be exempt and will be considered a donation if the value exceeds £500 (£50 for a candidate)
  • Some payments for conference stands

Are all types of advertising exempt?

No. The exemption only applies up to the commercial value of adverts which appear in publications. For example, adverts that appear in any publication, including a publication which sets out a party’s policies, such as a manifesto ahead of an election. 

Payments for any other type of advertising, such as banners at an event or digital advertising at a virtual event, should be treated as sponsorship if they help meet the cost of the event. 

Advertising payments that do not help to meet the costs of an event or publication in any way do not count as sponsorship. For example, if you sell advertising space for your online event and do not incur any direct costs for the event. 

However, if someone pays more than the commercial value of an advert, the difference between what they pay and the commercial value will be a donation.

Last updated: 24 May 2021