April 22, 2004

To all interested persons:

Pursuant to Iowa Code section 68B.32A(11) and rule 351—1.2, the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board issues this opinion on the placement of the “paid for by” attribution on yard signs. We note at the outset that the Board’s jurisdiction is limited to the application of Iowa Code chapters 68A and 68B and rules in Iowa Administrative Code chapter 351.


Board rule 351—4.71 stated that a yard sign was exempt from the “paid for by” attribution if the sign was 16 square feet or less. In IECDB Advisory Opinion 2001-17, the Board looked at the issue of whether using both sides of a yard sign meant that the sign exceeded that size limit. After reviewing the issue, the Board opined that “regardless of whether or not both sides of the sign are used, so long as the total dimensions (not counting the post) of the sign are sixteen square feet or less, the ‘paid for by’ attribution statement is not required.”

The Board has since repealed rule 351—4.71 and adopted rule 351—4.39. In rule 4.39(2)“a” the Board increased the exemption for yard signs from 16 square feet to 32 square feet. Therefore, regardless of whether both sides of the sign are used, so long as the total dimension of the sign is 32 square feet or less the sign does not have to contain a “paid for by” attribution.

In closing, the Board reminds everyone that campaign signs used as posters, or that are attached to a car (except for bumper stickers) or buildings must include a “paid for by” attribution regardless of size. Persons should review rules 351—4.38 through 4.41 concerning the “paid for by” attribution requirements.

IECDB Advisory Opinion 2001-17 is hereby rescinded.


James Albert, Board Chair
1st Vice-Chair Geraldine Leinen
2nd Vice-Chair Gwen Boeke
Mark McCormick
Bernie McKinley
Phyllis Peters

Submitted by: W. Charles Smithson, Board Legal Counsel


*rule 4.39(2)"a"