Submit Your Nonprofit’s PSA for Consideration: Back-Up and Late Creative PSA Library


Not for profit organizations use many strategies to increase public awareness about their organization, including creating ad campaigns to air in unsold media spots. It has become increasingly more difficult for organizations to have their PSAs (public service announcements in video, audio or print format) aired for free in newspapers, magazines, TV or radio.

PSA: an awareness message from a charitable, government or not-for-profit organization to inform and educate viewers about the purpose or mission of an organization.  

The media sells advertising space to earn revenue. Competition is heavy for the limited amount of unsold advertising space, and mass media budgets are tight. The media is not required to provide free PSA placements for nonprofits, so organizations are continually seeking new opportunities to educate the public about their cause.

How to Get Your PSA Aired

The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB Canada) is the national trade association for Canadian advertisers, and establishes member policies and guidelines. The Back-Up and Late Creative PSA Library was established in the event an advertising agency is late submitting media for contracted advertising spots.

No one wants a blank TV screen, silent radio channel or empty news column.

To make sure that there is approved content ready to air, IAB Canada accepts PSAs to use in the event paid advertising is not ready to air. The following digital advertising guidelines were established in the IAB Canada Late Creative policy:


  • An IAB Canada-approved PSA (meeting the Media Company’s technical and content requirements), may be substituted by the Online Media Company if no “STAND-IN GIF or JPG AD” creative is provided by the Advertiser and their Agency before the Ad Material deadline date.
  • This PSA will be considered “STAND-IN PSA AD” creative, and will run until final creative/Ad Materials can be put live.
  • The Online Media Company will use the “STAND-IN PSA AD” as the approved creative/Advertising Materials in all designated placements as outlined in the IO.
  • Upon receipt of the fully-functional creative/Advertising Materials‟, the Online Media Company will replace the “STAND-IN PSA AD” with the intended creative within the requisite 3 or 5 business days. If the intended creative is delivered prior to the campaign start, the Online Media Company will make every effort, but without guarantee, to replace the “STAND-IN PSA AD” with the Intended creative/Ad Materials in time for the campaign start.
  • PSA ads are to be chosen and set-up, pre-campaign launch, based on the Client’s charity preference(s). PSAs may be arranged by the Client and/or Agency and/or Publisher.
  • The Online Media Company will include results for “STAND-IN GIF OR JPG AD” or “STAND-IN PSA AD” creative in their delivery reports, within reporting guidelines as outlined in IO.
  • A “STAND-IN GIF OR JPG AD” or “STAND-IN PSA AD” will be identified as such within the report, along with the respective impressions delivered. 

If your organization would like your PSA to be considered for the IAB list, please contact the Canadian Internet Advertising Bureau

Alchemy Communications provides PR, marketing, communications and branding solutions for #YYC small businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofits