New board member, influencer guidelines, consumer research, and more
Ad Standards eNews
GroupM CEO Joins Ad Standards Board of Directors
Our Annual General Meeting, held in April, saw the election of new board member, Kevin Johnson, CEO of media company GroupM Canada.
Kevin is a seasoned media professional with over 25 years of industry experience across agencies and categories. Prior to becoming GroupM Canada’s CEO in 2021 he was CEO of MediaCom Canada, where he garnered tremendous success for the agency.
Kevin is also committed to actively participating and impacting the industry and world around him. He has done so through significant support for many charitable organizations and by acting as a community mentor in Rexdale.
“Ad Standards and the mission that it embodies are especially important as the pace of innovation and evolution in our industry accelerates. I’m really excited to join this team and look forward to collaborating with this group of peers around our collective priority of making the Canadian advertising industry the best that it can be.” — Kevin
Kevin’s expertise and his interest in making a positive impact in the industry is a valuable and welcome addition to our team. Please join us in welcoming Kevin to the Board!
Our Influencer Committee met in September to review and discuss updates for Ad Standards’ Influencer Disclosure Guidelines (the Guidelines). Committee members contributed ideas and brought forth new disclosure examples to include in the next edition of the Guidelines, ensuring they keep pace with the ever-evolving nature of influencer marketing.
Also noted at the meeting: A small but significant increase in the number of complaints Ad Standards received in 2021 related to influencer disclosure, inferring that more members of the public are aware of influencer disclosure requirements than before.
Public More Likely to Trust Ads From Ad Standards Members
In April we published State of Advertising Perceptions & Attitudes, a consumer research study we conducted in partnership with Numerator. Chief among the findings: Fifty-nine percent of those polled are more likely to trust an ad from a member of Ad Standards.
Over 1,600 individuals across the country were surveyed on four general topics: 1) acceptability of advertising, 2) commercial brands and industry sectors, 3) what is considered unacceptable and offensive, and 4) the importance of advertising rules and regulations.
Your First Stop For Information on Advertising Regulations
We’re constantly working to support the advertising industry. To that end, we made some improvements to the Resources section of our site – a hub of internal and external resources.
Find all Code-related resources, our Clearance Services library, resources for industry- or media-specific Compliance Plus programs, view upcoming Ad Standards and industry events, peruse our comprehensive list of helpful links to other organizations, and more.
Ad Standards is a member of the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS), a global organization that promotes responsible advertising through effective advertising self-regulation.
We are delighted to share that ICAS—and by extension, Ad Standards—has joined the Unstereotype Alliance as an ally. The Unstereotype Alliance, convened by UN Women, has been embraced by businesses and organizations championing the end of bias and stereotypes in advertising. It strives to affect positive cultural change by using the power of advertising to create positive portrayals of all people.
Supporting the Advertisers and Marketers of Tomorrow
Each year, Ad Standards offers two scholarships for post-secondary students. Students must be enrolled in an English or French undergraduate advertising or marketing program, display a commitment to volunteerism, a record of academic excellence, and an interest in pursuing a career in advertising or marketing.
Tia Schram, a fourth-year Bachelor of Management student at Concordia University of Edmonton and Florence Gravel, a third-year Public Communications student at Université Laval, were the recipients of the 2022 scholarships.
In October 2020, we launched our updated Preclearance Check Mark logo, designed to communicate that an ad has been vetted by our Clearance Services team.
This fall we’re making sure the public knows that seeing an Ad Standards Check Mark on an ad—whether digital, broadcast or print—means it’s an ad you can trust. Look for our PSA campaign on Pattison out-of-home billboards, as well as Captivate elevator screens across Canada in October and November.
The Check Mark indicates compliance with the rules, guidelines, codes, laws and policies for the following product categories: alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, food/non-alcoholic beverages, health products, and broadcast messaging directed to children (excluding Quebec).
Essential for new employees, and a refresher for seasoned staff, this two-part webinar series is designed to assist marketers and agency personnel to understand and apply the requirements of the CRTC Code for Broadcast Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages.
We are pleased to welcome the following new members. Along with over 225 organizations, these companies are tangibly demonstrating their commitment to effective advertising self-regulation through membership with Ad Standards.
Previously, Kelly was the Official Representative for Miller Thomson LLP’s membership with Ad Standards. She has now started her own boutique law practice providing legal advice and expertise in Canadian advertising and marketing law.
Official Representative: Tina McDowell, VP, Client Services
GSW is a healthcare communications agency that is part of Syneos Health Communications, a portfolio of innovative health-first, health-only advertising, branding, medical communications, market access and public relations agencies.
Official Representative: Arax Copeman, VP, Consumer Marketing
Xplore Communications Inc. is a Woodstock, New Brunswick-based rural fixed wireless broadband service provider.
Membership Renewal is Around the Corner
Thank you to all our members who continue to support effective advertising industry self-regulation in Canada. We look forward to working with you again. Ad Standards’ 2023 membership renewal invoices roll out the first week of November.
If you have any questions about your renewal, please contact Randy Sageman, Director, Member Relations, via email or phone: 416 961-6311 x 241.
Happy Anniversary, nabs!
In 2023 The National Advertising Benevolent Society (nabs) celebrates its 40th year in Canada as our industry’s only dedicated charity! The charity has assisted over 50,000 individuals and their families since 1983.
To mark the anniversary, nabs Media—the charity’s primary fundraising mechanism—will launch it’s 2023 sales efforts this month. nabs Media engages over 50 Canadian media companies and over 75 ad agencies so that industry players can buy media that assists their ad industry peers.
Buying nabs media is easy and does not cost extra. The proceeds go to support the well-being of our peers in media, advertising and communications.
Charitable Donation: Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction
Ad Standards has humbly made a charitable donation in support of Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction (TIHR). TIHR aims to reduce harm around stigmatized experiences such as substance use, displacement, and other survival strategies resulting from racism and colonization of Indigenous people.
TIHR began in early 2020 as a response to the massive shutdown of frontline services during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. They continue to work on the frontlines of encampment support and the devastating overdose crisis that is currently taking place across Turtle Island (North America).