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Ethical Policy

Patient is a site that is used by all to promote health, to help those who are ill to understand about their illness and to help educate with trusted information. Doctors regularly recommend this site to their patients and to carers of patients.

As such, we have set out clear ethical guidelines that commercial partners must adhere to.

Ethical guidelines

All advertisements need to be totally 'family friendly' and inoffensive. Apart from the usual understanding of 'ethical' (ie non-sexist, non-racist, non-defamatory), Patient does not accept ads that:

  • Are in conflict with mainstream health promotion, for example ads for alcohol or cigarettes;
  • Promote cures or treatments known to be ineffective;
  • Are for gambling - which includes lotteries, bingos, and online poker;
  • Are pornographic, adult or mature content, use sexual images, or sexual innuendo;
  • Advertise weapons, firearms, ammunition or fireworks;
  • Are for dating;
  • Include or promote racial intolerance, hate, or advocate against any individual, group, or organization; 
  • Promote illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia; 
  • Promote illegal activity, spam, mail fraud, or advice not permitted by law.

Patient's acceptance of an advertisement or sponsor provided content does not imply endorsement of the products or services. Patient has no control over the content of any external links.

Positioning and labelling

We have set out a series of positions where we normally place adverts. In general, we surround the top, right and bottom of our content with advertising space. We do not allow advertising within authored clinical content. The exceptions are links to in-house sales of pharmacy products, appliances, books and services.

Patient maintains a distinct separation between advertisements and clinical information as a hallmark of independence.

All display/banner adverts are labelled as "Advertisement" by Patient. "Sponsor provided content", "Sponsored content", "Sponsored", and "Advertorial" are used to describe content features that are paid for and controlled by the advertiser rather than the publisher and are subject to regulation by the Advertising Standards Authority.