November 2019
About this Report

Ad Standards worked in concert with Advanced Symbolics Inc. (ASI) —  an AI-driven market research firm — to develop the following report that examines advertising trends and levels of consumer trust. The report was developed using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to scientifically research public opinion. The opinions shown reflect the views and intentions of Canadians as a whole, not only those who were sampled in this study. An anonymous, representative sample of 265,800 online individuals, all residing in Canada, was used for the research. The study was conducted January, 2019, onward.
How to Read the Report

Engagement: a measure of how many people were actually engaged with the topic and discussing the topic online. While posing a traditional research question prompts a survey taker to respond, the AI based engagement rate indicates how interested the population is in the topic without being asked. 
Stance detection: a separate AI that determines if a person opposes or supports the given topic. Stance detection measures the semantic polarity in the context of the topic. The stance: “Agree,” “Undecided” and “Disagree” can have a variety of meanings, depending on the nuances of topic being researched.

Net Positive=Agree (%)-Disagree (%)
Topic #1: Perceptions of Advertising
  • Between 5,223,100 and 5,422,100 Canadians are talking about advertisements they've seen, heard, or read (15% of the population).
  • This is the highest level of engagement across all topics.
  • 74% of Canadians are supportive of the ads they see, hear, or read.
  • 27% of Canadians discussing ads are younger than 25 years old.
Topic #2: Standards in Advertising
  • 96% of consumers believe that it is somewhat to very important for advertisements to have a set of rules and regulations that advertisers must follow.
  • In order to increase consumer engagement with advertising in all sectors, honesty is key.
  • Canadians think cannabis should be as regulated as alcohol.
Topic #3: Gender Representations in Advertising

How do Canadians feel about body image in advertising?
  • Canadians want a more realistic representation of men in ads
  • Canadians are more accepting of partial nudity of women than men in ads
  • Canadians are more accepting of sexist depictions of women in advertisements than sexist depictions of men
Topic #4: Political, Election, and Government Advertising
According to Canadians:
  • It is inappropriate when ads target a politician's personal life.
  • Governments should be subject to stricter punishments for false advertising.
  • Government and political ads are a misuse of tax dollars, however ads that raise awareness about public services should be allowed.
  • Ads that provide information on political platforms are preferable to smear ads.
Ad Standards Contact:
Christian Campbell
Communications Manager
Advanced Symbolics Contact:
Adam Czach
Product Manager