301. Short title of chapter.
302. Scope and interpretation of chapter.
303. Level of advertising rates.
304. Establishment and change of advertising rates.
305. Charges taxable as costs and administration expenses.
306. Use of trade publications.
307. Effect of failure to advertise when required.
308. Additional publication in legal journals.
309. Inclusion of common geographical names.
310. No unauthorized advertisements to be published.
Enactment. Chapter 3 was added July 9, 1976, P.L.877, No.160, effective in 60 days.
§ 301. Short title of chapter.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Newspaper Advertising Act."
§ 302. Scope and interpretation of chapter.
The provisions of this chapter are intended to be a comprehensive statute:
(1) Creating uniformity in the publication of legal notices, official advertisements, and advertisements, or abstracts of any notice, statement, or advertisement required by law, rule, order or decree of court to be published in a newspaper.
(2) Defining the publications in which official and legal advertising shall be published.
(3) Prescribing methods for computing the charges therefor.
(4) Providing that the expenses for publishing legal advertising or notices shall be taxable and collectible as costs in all matters except as otherwise provided by general rules.
(5) Establishing a uniform method for determining the cost of legal advertising and legal notices, where rates, circulation of the particular publication, size of columns or pages, and kind or size of type used vary, in newspapers of different localities in this Commonwealth.
§ 303. Level of advertising rates.
(a) General rule.--All official and legal advertising shall be charged for at an established or declared rate or price per single column, line of reading matter measured in depth by the point system, or at a rate or price per inch single column. When such official and legal advertising is not classified and is not published according to prescribed or recognized forms, and no rate has been established or declared, such rate for official and legal advertising shall not be in excess of the rates usually charged or received by the publication publishing such official and legal advertising for commercial, general, or other advertising.
(b) Exception.--Where official and legal advertising is usually and ordinarily published according to recognized or prescribed forms, or particular matters are itemized and classified under general headings, subsection (a) shall not prohibit the fixing of definite prices or sums for publishing official and legal advertising, regardless of the number of single column lines or space required for each item, notice, or advertisement published in any separate matter or proceeding, and regardless of rates established, fixed, charged or received for commercial, general or other advertising. The purpose of this subsection is to enable newspapers to take into consideration, as elements, when fixing advertising rates or charges, location of the advertisement in the newspaper, the purpose to be served, the character of the advertising, and that a newspaper is entitled to compensation for its readiness at all times to render an advertising service.
§ 304. Establishment and change of advertising rates.
All newspapers of general circulation, official newspapers and legal newspapers accepting and publishing official and legal advertising, are hereby required to fix and establish rates and charges for official, legal and all other kinds of advertising, offered or accepted for publication, and such publications shall furnish, on demand, to any person having use for the same, detailed schedules, stating the rates and charges which shall be deemed to be in force and effect until changed or altered, and, when changed or altered, such publication shall give the person authorized or required to publish advertising, before demanding or receiving compensation at any increased rate, notice that the rates and charges of such publication for advertising have been changed or abrogated, and that increased advertising rates and charges have been established or fixed.
§ 305. Charges taxable as costs and administration expenses.
Except as otherwise provided by general rule, all charges, costs, and expenses incurred, including the fees for affidavits to proofs of publication, for official and legal advertising in any matter by any person shall be taxable, collectible and payable as other court costs and expenses of administration are required by law to be taxed, collected, and paid, upon all decrees of court.
§ 306. Use of trade publications.
(a) General rule.--Any government unit which is required by law to advertise for bids for public works, contracts, supplies or equipment, may, in its discretion, authorize the publication of such advertising, in addition to the newspapers authorized by the other provisions of this chapter, also in any publication or journal devoted to the dissemination of information about construction work published in this Commonwealth at least once a week and circulating among contractors, manufacturers and dealers doing business in the community in which such public works are to be constructed or supplies or equipment purchased.
(b) Exception.--Except with respect to publication by any city of third class or borough, no advertisement for bids for public works, contracts, supplies or equipment shall be inserted in any publication or journal devoted to the dissemination of information about construction work, unless such publication meets the following requirements:
(1) It has been established and regularly issued from a printing office and publication house in this Commonwealth for a period of at least 18 months.
(2) It has been entered, or entitled to be entered, for admission to the United States mails as second class matter.
(3) It has had a bona fide income from subscribers within this Commonwealth of not less than $15,000 per annum, duly certified by a public accountant.
(4) The rates and charges for such advertising shall not be in excess of those of newspapers of general circulation of a like circulation published in the community in which the public works are to be constructed or the supplies or equipment purchased.
Cross References. Section 306 is referred to in section 512 of Title 62 (Procurement); section 9109 of Title 74 (Transportation).
§ 307. Effect of failure to advertise when required.
No legal proceeding, matter, or case in which notice is required to be given by official or legal advertising, shall be binding and effective upon any interested person unless such official and legal advertising is printed and published in the newspapers of general circulation, official newspapers, and legal newspapers defined by this title, in the manner and as required by statute, and by any rule, order, or decree of court, resolution of a corporation, or unincorporated association, or ordinance, rule, or regulation of any government unit, in the proper newspapers of general circulation, official newspapers, and legal newspapers, defined by this title, and a proof of publication is filed of record in such matter or proceeding.
Third Class Cities. Section 5 of Act 160 of 1976 provided that where official and legal advertising is required of a third class city located in two counties, such advertising shall be binding and effective if done in the newspapers of general circulation, official newspapers and legal newspapers, as defined in this title, published in the county where such city was incorporated.
§ 308. Additional publication in legal journals.
(a) General rule.--Except as otherwise provided by statute, every notice or advertisement required by law or rule of court to be published in one or more newspapers of general circulation, unless dispensed with by special order of court, shall also be published in the legal newspaper, issued at least weekly, in the county, designated by rules of court for the publication of court or other legal notices, if such newspaper exists. Publication in such legal newspaper shall be made as often as required to be made in such newspapers in general circulation, and shall be subject to the same stipulations and regulations as those imposed for the like services upon all newspapers.
(1) Subsection (a) shall not require the publication in such legal newspapers of municipal ordinances, municipal or county auditors' or controllers' reports, school district auditors' or controllers' reports, or summaries or statements thereof, mercantile appraisers' notice, advertising for bids for contracts for public work, materials or supplies, or lists of delinquent taxpayers.
(2) Publication of election notices in legal newspapers shall be governed by the provisions of the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the "Pennsylvania Election Code."
§ 309. Inclusion of common geographical names.
(a) General rule.--Whenever official advertising or legal advertising involves a road, street, highway, bridge, municipality, village or boundary, the advertisement shall, in order that it may readily be understood by inhabitants of the area involved, include the common, local or general usage designation of every such road, street, highway, bridge, municipality, village or boundary.
(b) Mistake.--The inclusion of a common local or general language designation for the purpose of complying with subsection (a), if mistaken or erroneous, shall not invalidate any matter or proceeding which in all other respects is properly and lawfully executed.
§ 310. No unauthorized advertisements to be published.
No advertisement shall be published by any court or other government unit, which is not duly authorized by law, nor in more papers than so authorized.