I'm a mod on Chess.SE beta, and we've come up with a couple ads for our site. Not knowing the ins and outs of site promotion, I asked what we would do with our ads. Another mod pro tem answered me by saying:
Well, we can submit this image (along with the appropriate links) as an answer in the "Community Promotion Ads - 2012" meta questions at SE sites that might be appropriate (e.g. Arqade and GameDev spring to mind). Once we post it as an answer at such places, it is up to those communities to decide, by voting it up/down, if it should get any "airtime." If it gets to +6 at a given site, it will show in that site's ads.
Sounded good. We posted it on Arqade, Game Dev, Super User, and SciFi, garnering (as of now) 8 votes, 5 votes, 3 votes, and -1 votes respectively. See especially the comment thread under the SciFi post, in which one user (apparently without any backup) claimed that that SciFi meta post was for SciFi ads only:
I'm all for chess. I love me some hex chess. But this thread is for SciFi.SE.com ads. If you'd like to just pop in and get people aware of the site, you can go to chat and mention it there.
My fellow chess mod who posted that ad answered:
It was (and still is) my understanding that beta SE sites routinely advertise themselves on other SE sites. (That seems to be backed up by the fact that our ad has been substantially upvoted at every other community promotion meta question where we've so far put it: Arqade, Super User, GameDev.) In any case, it is each community's decision what ads it wants to show, and I'm perfectly happy if y'all choose not to show ours. I hope I didn't bother/offend anyone with our posting; it was certainly not my intent.
I concluded that the user must have misunderstood how ads work. The four ads continued to get upvoted, and everything seemed to be going smoothly. Suddenly, this message from a SU mod landed in my inbox, a comment on our ad post there:
If you want to promote another Stack Exchange site, talk to the community promotion team (aka CHAOS). Community promotion ads on other sites aren't the way to go about that.
So I have 2 questions:
What is the correct procedure for displaying our new ads?
Can the procedure be made more clear to aspiring advertisers?
Update: Now the SU meta post (which has 4 votes) is deleted by the aforementioned mod. Should I protest the unilateral decision? I assume the mod thinks that SE sites shouldn't advertise on other SE sites. Is he wrong? If he is, it should be the SU community which decides, and therefore I should take issue with the deletion.
Resolution: The SU mod was correct to delete it, as a Chess ad was too off-topic for SU. The number of votes is secondary to the constructiveness of the ad for the site.