What are advertising cards?

I have been seeing people on their profiles say they don’t want promotional cards or advertising cards.

What constitutes as an advertising card?

I got postcards made by graphic artists here and some of them link their shop or social media at the back of the postcard. Is that bad? I think their cards are pretty and I wanted to share that with some friends. I personally don’t find that a terrible thing, coz if I got one and liked their art I’d love to go to their shop and search for more.

While I know that this doesn’t mean someone should NOT register my card, I don’t have an example or reference to what it is haha.


An advertising card is made to advertise a product or a shop, e.g. Coca Cola, a pasta company, a shampoo, a hairdresser’s shop etc.

I like advertising cards, as long as they are interesting, funny or beautiful, or relate to my interests. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t. Most of them are really boring (for me).

Here is an example for an advertising card:
it advertises a travel book publisher. I would like it, for the photo is really stunning, if only it weren’t for the annoying white advertising print in the middle. The little red publisher logo right obove would do for me.


Oh okay.
So if the postcard is an art piece and it has links to their shop that’s okay right? Something like this

(You can see the back has the artist’s IG and webshop page, but she’s not advertising a product or anything at the front page)


Postcards of art made by local artists with a only name or website on the back are not considered ad cards :slightly_smiling_face: A lot of postcards have info like that on the back, it’s fine.

This is an example of ad cards, that advertise a local business in my city that does photoshoots in hsitorical costumes.
The back has a big logo, address, email address, phone number, website, and lists prices of their services. There’s not much room on the back to write!


Good question, I was just reading this topic about it: To “Ad Card” or not to “Ad Card”…

Something like this

I honestly don’t think that one counts as an ad card, may I ask where you got it? It’s so cute! :heart_eyes:

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I actually like, and hope there is artist info, and in my opinion it should be there somewhere, as it makes me think the card is good, and not a picture copied somewhere and printed without permission.

I often look for the artist info, and look their other cards or their IG.


Maybe 15-20 years, Ad cards/Rack Cards/Freecards were popular with some collectors. The themes on some of the cards were interesting: movie posters, art works, perfumes, etc. But here in the US, they have fallen out of favor. The two major publishers of these types of cards are no longer in business. I personally dislike such cards. Whenever I would get them, I quickly unload them. Yeah, they qualify as genuine postcards for PostCrossing purposes. But I would much prefer to get a postcard reflecting the culture or views of a nation; instead of an immoral movie poster.

In this case it’s definitely not an advertising card. If any, the card is advertising itself!
I think it is a proof of the card being original and legal and not an illegal copy. Most cards have something like this (notes for who’s the artist / photograph - who’s the publisher).

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Oh thanks! This is the artist Shop Kate Paints

She does a variety of stuff. I bought a postcard set from her and that was one of the postcards you get from the set.

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oh okay WHEW thanks.

I only recently got into postcards, and I usually would get from giftshops that didn’t have a site or anything on the back so I was wondering if that was a thing.

They are so beautiful! Unfortunately they’re also over my budget, sigh.
Oh well, I’ll put them in my wishlist and buy them next time I want to treat myself! :wink:

Look how b’ful adcards can be.

all from 1999-2000, collected in Berlin Cinemas, Bars, Cafés, Restaurants


Hi, also I have purchased cards directly from the artists. As I see it, those are not Ad cards. I see Ad cards as free to the “consumer?”

Yes, that’s how I see them too. I sent out a postcard today that advertised a business on the back (just addresses), good picture on the front with no words at all. I had to buy the card, but I’m worried that the recipient will see it as an ad card, because of what’s on the back.

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@Florallle I had the same problem - I bought a set of cards with lighthouse and bike pictures from the Netherlands (a promotion on the Postcrossing website). When they arrived I realised they have a little print on the backside advertising for holiday homes in the Netherlands. Looks like an ad card, but wasn’t free. :upside_down_face:

I’m a bit hesitant to send them to people who state not liking ad cards… Preferred to send them to “open” profiles. :blush:

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My card fitted perfectly the lady I sent it to, in two different ways (she had very specific requests, which this card met) but she said no ad cards. I’m sure she will register it, but …

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Indeed ad cards are free and made for advertising a product, an event or a place.


Postcard DE-10407079
Postcard DE-10636643

The following cards (a series of 27 cities) are distributed for free in shops at German main stations, to advertise the possibility to go shopping there even if you’re not traveling by train:

I think they’re great - but they’re ad cards. :laughing:


In fact it’s good to see the creator of the artwork.identified! There are members who don’t want to get cards without this information (because they could be bootlegs made without the artist’s permission).

Hi. I am new here to Post Crossing. I keep on reading about “no AD cards” in people’s profiles. What are AD cards? If anyone has any examples, please let me know. Thank you.

Hi Carolyn! Welcome to Postcrossing!

Here’s a topic where you can find a definition for ad card and other common terms/abbreviations, I hope it’s helpful :slight_smile:

Basically an ad card is a card used by a business (typically) to advertise their services or products! Here’s an example of one from a pub in my province:

The back also has information about the pub, as well as a little space to write and for the address.