What Are Some Important Laws Governing Marketing in Canada

The administration and enforcement of provincial and territorial consumer protection legislation is primarily the responsibility of the relevant provincial or territorial department. In Ontario, this is the Ministry of Consumer Services, acting through the Minister of Consumer Services and the Director in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act. How can members of the public or consumer associations challenge advertising? Who has the authority to bring a civil action or initiate a regulatory proceeding? Why? In practice, most civil cases are resolved before they have even reached the stage of a hearing. The Competition Act provides for consents between the Commissioner and the party alleged to have contravened the misleading advertising provisions. Consents may contain some or all of the conditions that may be imposed in a court or tribunal order, but may also contain other terms agreed to by the parties. Generally, consents include a combination of a LMP, mandatory publication of notices of correction, and a requirement not to engage in similar behaviour over a period of several years. In addition, many consents do not contain an admission that there has been a violation of the Competition Act. The consent approach may be acceptable to advertisers participating in an OPC investigation who want to end the matter without spending a great deal of time and resources on lengthy litigation. The general impression test applies to “free” claims and, therefore, there should be no required or implied fees associated with purchasing something advertised as free. In addition, each bundled product must provide the promotional item at no additional cost without refund of the bonus item. In Quebec, an advertisement for a bundled product should not focus on the premium item. However, foreign advertisers should be aware of the unique aspects of Canadian law and culture that govern advertising in Canada.

In Quebec, for example, language laws impose the same importance of French on all packaging, warnings and instructions on products, as well as a greater importance of French at the point of sale and, in many cases, in advertising and promotion. This requirement reduces the space available to advertisers, especially in the case of packaging of domestic products. It is also clear in Canada, as in the U.S. and elsewhere, that advertisers have an obligation to ensure that advertising content is clearly identified as such to consumers, especially if the content is presented in a manner that closely resembles news, feature articles, product reviews, entertainment and other content. or appears near ad content. The U.S. FTC`s Native Advertising: A Guide for Businesses provides a useful discussion on this topic with some useful examples, and suggests that the general principles addressed in the FTC Guidelines are also relevant under Canada`s misleading advertising laws. Therefore, an essential part of the Advertising Act determines whether a particular type of advertising, such as a performance indication, contest, endorsement/testimonial, or marketing in a particular industry (e.g., food, drugs, cosmetics, cannabis, or alcohol), is subject to regulatory requirements. Some of the most important areas of Canadian advertising law are summarized below and on the overview pages of our blog. The Competition Act (the Act) is the main federal law in Canada that prohibits false or misleading advertising or deceptive marketing practices.

The law prohibits public representations that are substantially false or misleading. Such representations are subject to civil scrutiny and are prohibited by the criminal law provisions of the Act. These provisions are identical, except that the offence presupposes a “conscious” or “reckless” state of mind. The Competition Bureau is the regulator responsible for enforcing the law and may choose to take criminal or civil action to enforce misleading advertising regulations. In practice, the Bureau usually chooses criminal prosecution only in egregious cases. Competitions in Canada have a loyal following and high customer engagement. They generate marketing buzz and interest, so it`s no wonder that businesses across all industries use them to grab consumers` attention. Before launching a contest, marketers need to be familiar with Canada`s competition laws to maintain your company`s reputation. The main laws governing publicity contests are: section 206 of the Criminal Code, section 74.06 and the misleading advertising provisions of the Competition Act, the Quebec Act respecting lotteries, alcohol, publicity contests and amusement machines, and general contract law. This guide aims to a) provide useful background information on relevant laws, b) provide regulatory guidance to marketers, and c) ensure that members are responsible and ethical in their marketing practices when conducting a contest. This guide deals with the relevant clauses of various statutes, and an appendix at the end of this document contains the actual legal text.

This guide is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and all contest sponsors should seek legal advice before launching a contest to ensure full compliance with the lawDownload the full guide (CMA members) In some cases, sponsors also enter into co-sponsorship agreements (e.g., if there are multiple sponsors or award sponsors) or compensation agreements with involved third parties. in the competition (e.g. A Sponsor only contributes prizes and/or brand assets, such as its brands and images, and another party, such as an influencer or contest administrator, is largely responsible for most of the marketing and operation of the Contest). Such agreements can be useful for transferring risk when a promoter wants to limit its potential liability, especially with inexperienced co-sponsors or marketing partners. While Canadian advertising and marketing law can be reduced to mere rules of thumb, such generalities are only a starting point. Effective legal compliance relies on creative navigation through the complex mix of rules applied by different regulators with different, but sometimes overlapping, powers. Future issues of this bulletin will discuss this combination in more detail. Are there any restrictions on indirect marketing, such as commercial sponsorship of programs and product placement? In an increasingly connected digital world, Canadian advertising and marketing law is a complex mix that addresses a variety of issues, including protecting consumers and competitors from misleading representations, data breaches, data breaches, spam and intellectual property infringements. just to name a few. It includes a variety of federal, provincial and territorial laws and regulations, court and state regulatory decisions, policies, enforcement policies and guidelines. It also contains numerous decisions by industry and other self-regulatory organizations, principles, guidelines and codes of conduct. In some cases, these laws and practices are of general application.

In others, they apply only to those who promote a particular type of good, service or interest, or in a particular economic sector. In 2014, Canada`s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), one of the strictest anti-spam regimes in the world, came into force. CASL has created a voluntary opt-in regime for commercial electronic marketing messages (CEMs). Generally, CASL requires express or implied consent to ship CEMs to Canadians and also imposes specific obligations on electronic marketers regarding sender identification, unsubscribe and registration (e.g., documentation of consent). The June 2008 archived guide is still available to businesses and consumers on the Competition Office`s website. Importantly, this document provides guidance on compliance with the relevant provisions of applicable legislation enforced by the Competition Bureau and practical examples of how laws and policies can be applied to environmental claims in the Canadian marketplace. As a result, these archived guidelines can continue to assist advertisers in assessing compliance with environmental claims. This guide provides a transparency framework to help organizations provide clear and user-friendly information about how personal data is collected, used and shared by consumers. CMA members and the marketing industry may use this information to tailor their privacy policies and practices to their industry, business model, consumer preferences and products. The guidelines will help businesses comply with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner`s new meaningful consent guidelines, which came into effect on January 1, 2019.

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