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Jim Young

Member Advertising and Deceptive Practices

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There appears to be some confusion as to what members can post when they announce a new product or talk about products in our forums.  The AVSIM Terms of Service provides the following two rules:


Commercial Users and Advertising: Commercial users are NOT allowed to advertise within the AVSIM forums or elsewhere within AVSIM without the prior approval of AVSIM Staff. Commercial users are allowed to post information regarding upcoming sales, bargains, etc., but ONLY in the BARGAIN HUNTER'S SHACK Forum or their own forum hosted by AVSIM.

Deceptive Practices: Deceptive practices by a member are reason for suspension or banning. An example; what appears to be a normal member is touting a product, which on the face of it, seems like an enthusiastic user encouraging others to consider that product. The reality is that the "normal user" is actually a stake holder and in some way profits in the sale of that product. In this example, this is an immediate banning offense.


It is clear regarding Commercial Users and Advertising except they can announce a new product or update in the forums.  There is some confusion regarding our members who post information about a new product or update and post a direct link to a store that might be selling the product or many products. 


Posting information about a new product or update by our membership, including commercial users, is okay.  This is what forums are all about.  To let our membership know about new products or updates.  Commercial users should submit a 'press release' too (see the Adveristing tag under "Contact Us" in this forum).


Still with me?


If a topic or post is posted to announce a new product, then there should be no direct links to the product store.  You can have a link to the product description such as what FlightOne, Carenado, ActiveSky, REX, and others provide for their products.  Those are not 'direct' links to the store.  One would have to look for how to purchase.  So direct links to FS Stores like, SimMarket, PC Aviator, Megascenery, FSS, FS Pilot Shop, Aerosoft, etc., are not allowed in any case and your post or topic will probably be removed by a moderator when found. 


For updates, a direct link to the site will not be allowed in most cases as it is simply giving a link to the product.  Members who own the product should know where to go to get the update.


Lastly, it is nearly impossible to determine deceptive practices.  That is solely the judgement of our Moderators and we will simply remove the post or topic if it appears a member is being used as a surrogate.  I can say that most likely members will not be banned as stated in the Terms of Service but just issued a warning.  Several warnings can cumulate though causing more severe punishment.


We are just trying to protect the advertisers who advertise on AVSIM.  We would rather members click on the advertisement on AVSIM to the product than have a member post the advertisement in our forums.


Thank you for your cooperation.


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Hi Jim


Given the chronological correlation i assume that my recent posting has led you to clarify the advertising rules here on AVSIM. You might want to update the ToS as the information in there is much less detailed...


Instead of deleting my entire post right away, the link to the store could have just been removed by a forum admin. As you already correctly stated in the warning, i'm in no way profiting from any sales, i'm just a flight sim enthusiast, wanted to let others know about a nice, aviation related gift (aviationtags). Thats why i wont bother to recreate the whole post again (without a link of course)...not gonna waste my time


Just to get it right: If i would have put a link to the mainpage instead of a link pointing directly to the shop it would have been allowed?




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Comments noted.  So, should we have put everything I said in the OP in the Terms of Service?  Not very practicable. This topic is just a clarification and further guidance.  I have fixed your topic as you requested in the e-mail you sent me and it is back in the forum.


Thanks for your cooperation.

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not the entire post as most of the above is covered in the ToS already. But it might make sense to add the fact that direct links to stores are not allowed and are being considered illegal advertising


Thanks for putting it back online, appreciate the straightforward clarification of this matter




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