No Free Commercial Advertising

Everything (Well, Nearly Everything) You Need to Know 

About Paid & Unpaid Advertising on the Cleveland Park Email List 


The Cleveland Park Listserv has a commercial and professional advertising program.  Click here to learn how your paid advertisement can reach the readership of the Cleveland Park Listserv, the largest neighborhood email list in the USA.  Read on to find out what kinds of messages about businesses and services can be posted for free on the CP Listserv.

Rule #10 of the Cleveland Park Email List rules says "No free commercial advertising on the CP Listserv."  But list members talk about businesses and services quite often; they recommend contractors, doctors, and other services freely.  Teens offer to cut lawns; parents post on behalf of babysitters seeking extra work; housekeepers write in to say they have some available slots to fill, and so forth.  We (the moderators) have no problem with these sorts of posts.  And yet, from time to time, we write to members who submit posts about a type of service they provide for a fee, with a note that says, “Sorry, this post is commercial advertising.  It can't be posted for free on the Cleveland Park Email List.”

Sometimes the turned-down poster writes back to ask why a similar-seeming post was approved, while theirs must be purchased.  Because it is time-consuming for the moderators to respond every time a poster has a question about the paid verus free ad rules, we are providing a list of the categories of messages about businesses, services, and sales that may be posted for free.  If your intended message does not fit completely within any of the categories below, don't give up!  Just visit our Paid Ads Page  to learn how to send in a sponsored message.  Only the following types of messages can be published on the Cleveland Park Listserv for free:

Recommendations.  Please note that all recommendations must be written and submitted by a list member who has no financial or personal stake in the business, service, or professional being recommended.  To learn all about writing a recommendation that may be published on the Cleveland Park Listserv, please see our recommendations policy page.

For Sale Items.  Messages selling personal items are allowed, as long as your message identifies you as a resident within the listserv coverage area and your ad meets all the points on our CP Ad Checklist .  (Be sure to use that checklist  before you send in your ad, as there are many, many restrictions on free advertising, and any ad that does not meet all of them will be deleted.)

ISO Housing Ads.  It's fine to use the listserv to seek a house, apartment, room, or other type of space for yourself/immediate family. Please note that all ads to sell or rent out real estate, including sales and rentals of homes, offices, vacation homes, timeshares, parking spots, storage facilities, and other types of property, fall under our Paid Ads Program

Notices from or about in-home helpers.  It's fine for employers to post recommendations for their housekeepers, nannies, babysitters, and elder care givers. Also, any of these categories of workers can submit one free self-recommendation per year.  We don't consider in-home care givers to be running a business so much as joining a neighborhood household.  However, anyone running a professional house cleaning company or acting as a manager for various in-home employees is running a business and must pay for advertising on the CP Listserv.

Items and prices. Items offered for less than $1000 (total price of all items up for sale) are free. Ads for items for $1,000 or more (or totaling that amount in any given 12 month period), fall under our paid advertising program. Coupon sales, referrals, and affiliate programs also fall under our paid advertising program. 

Notices from or about high school or middle school age children offering to do odd jobs.  We consider notices sent in by neighborhood kids looking to earn some pocket money to be different from notices by adults offering professional services:  It's the 21st century version of having a neighborhood kid knock on your door and ask if you need any odd jobs done. But even ads from kids need to be low-key and neighborly in tone to be allowed under the free advertising rule.  So if you are a high school kid starting a professional tutoring service (with a website, charging a rate commensurate with what adult tutors receive) -- you should be prepared to pay to advertise.  This levels the playing field for other tutoring services who pay to advertise on the listserv.


Here are the types of notices and messages that can be posted only if purchased:

Professional employment notices.  This mean all ads for "job wanted" or "job available," except for the in-home helper ads, as noted above.

Repeat Advertising.  Payment is required when the the poster has already used the listserv for free ads (that is, to sell different things) twice within the past 12 months.  Please note that an ad for the same item (or items) can be run for free just once. Also, the twice-per-year free applies to for-sale ads only; free ads for babysitters and housecleaners are just once per year.

For-Sale Ads by Out of Neighborhood Residents. Payment is required when the ad comes from a list member who lives outside of our listserv coverage area.

Housing and Other Types of Property for Sale or Rent.  All such ads need to be purchased to be published on the Cleveland Park Listserv.

Items that are for sale for $1,000 or more. If you're selling something that costs more than $1,000, it needs to be a paid advertisement.

Crossposts.   (A crosspost is a message sent at the same time or within a few days to more than one email list.)  To keep the neighbor-to-neighbor character of the CP Listserv, we require that all messages be addressed just to your neighbors on this listserv.  If you want to use the CP Listserv to sell something or announce something here and other places at the same time, then you need to purchase space on the CP Listserv for that purpose.  This includes not only for-sale ads but political fundraisers and events, art openings, and other non-commercial events. If you have a for sale item that has been posted elsewhere, you may not post a free ad on the Cleveland Park Listserv, even after that listing has expired.  You may purchase an advertisement

Note:  All advertisements, notices and other messages must conform to applicable laws, including but not limited to, the Fair Housing Act.  List members are responsible for the content of their messages. 

Please consult our advertising checklist before submitting an unpaid advertisement: http://cpadcheck.notlong.com 

The Cleveland Park general email list rules are at http://cprules.notlong.com.

For answers to most questions about how the listserv works, please visit our FAQ page

The short URL for this page is http://cpnoad.notlong.com.

Wow!  As you can see, the Cleveland Park Listserv is a very busy place in cyberspace, and takes a lot of time on the part of the volunteer moderators.  You are welcome to show your support by making a donation.  The moderators appreciate the good karma that comes from knowing that Listserv members appreciate all the hard work that goes into running the Cleveland Park Listserv:


 Want to send a birthday, anniversary or other special wish to somebody on the Cleveland Park Listserv?  Find out how at http://cpday.notlong.com