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FAR Part 5 is titled Publicizing Contract Actions.

In subpart 5.5 Paid Advertisements

5.502 Authority.

(a) Newspapers. Authority to approve the publication of paid advertisements in newspapers is vested in the head of each agency (44 U.S.C. 3702). This approval authority may be delegated (5 U.S.C. 302(B)). Contracting officers shall obtain written authorization in accordance with policy procedures before advertising in newspapers.

Does 5.502(a) only apply to publicizing contract actions as implied by the title of Part 5 or does it apply to any paid advertisements (e.g., ad placement for the “I Promise” campaign by the USDA http://stopthebeetle.info/) in newspapers?

When I looked at 44 USC Public Printing and Documents chapter 37 Advertisements by Government Agencies it appears that 5.502(a) should apply to all advertisements placed in newspapers (regardless if the placement is for publicizing contract actions or if the placement is for other purposes).

While I originally thought 5.502 applied to publicizing contract actions I now believe it applies to all advertisements. Thoughts or comments?

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