May 2019
Ad Standards News and Updates
New Truth in Advertising Matters Video Series

Check out our new videos to learn more about Ad Standards' role and initiatives, including the Influencer Marketing Disclosure Guidelines .
Winner of Best Sectoral Initiative Award from the International Council for Ad Self-Regulation
On April 15, during its Annual Meeting in Paris, France, the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS) announced the winners of its first ICAS Global Awards. The objective of the ICAS Awards is to reward initiatives that contribute to responsible marketing practices through self-regulatory standards.

Ad Standards is proud to have received the Best Sectoral Initiative award for the Influencer Marketing Disclosure Guidelines . We'd like to thank the Influencer Marketing Steering Committee and all other contributors for their support and eff orts in creating these guidelines!
Release of 2018 Complaints Report
In April, Ad Standards released the Ad Complaints Report – 2018 Year in Review . This report provides information about consumers’ submitted to Ad Standards in 2018 for review under the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards . The following are some highlights:

  • 747 ads reviewed by Ad Standards
  • 55% of reviewed ads (412) alleged misleading or inaccurate advertising
  • 35 ads were found to contravene the Code by Councils
Ad Standards Scholarship Winners
Congratulations to the two 2019 Scholarship winners, Kevin Zentner and Camille St-Pierre!

Kevin is a fourth-year Bachelor of Commerce Marketing student at the University of Alberta who is passionate about developing socially and environmentally sustainable business practices. During his time in school, Kevin attained exemplary academic results while also making a positive impact on his community through volunteerism. His many volunteer initiatives include work with the university’s Academic Success Center, Neighborhood Bridges (which supports individuals with mental illness), Edmonton Food Bank, and Alberta JDC West (a business case competition team). Kevin has also developed a creative design and e-marketing firm, called Deux Collectif, which connects students with not-for-profit and charitable organisations who need pro-bono creative and marketing services.

Camille St-Pierre is a first-year Bachelor of Business Administration student (Bilingual double major in Marketing and Entrepreneurship) at the University of Sherbrooke. She has achieved outstanding academic success while also displaying a longstanding commitment to volunteer work, having collaborated with organisations such as Noël du pauvre, Jeunesses musicales du Canada, and Virée du Maire (a sporting event organised by the City of Trois-Rivières). Camille is also an avid musician and has organised multiple fundraisers for the Fondation du Conservatoire de musique de Trois-Rivières, for which she received the Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal in 2017.

Introducing the 2019/2020 Ad Standards Executive Committee and Board of Directors
Ad Standards is pleased to announce its 2019/2020 Board of Directors. Nancy Marcus, Kruger Products L.P., is Chair of the Board; Gary Maavara, Corus Entertainment Inc, and Kevin Brady, Anderson DDB Health & Lifestyle, are co-Vice Chairs; and Uwe Stueckman, Loblaw Companies, is Treasurer. Other Executive Committee members include Ron Lund, Association of Canadian Advertisers Inc.; Jani Yates, Ad Standards; and Catherine Bate, Ad Standards.

Government, political and election advertising in Canada
The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards ( Code ) applies to domestic advertising across almost all media, and about almost anything. An important exclusion is carved out, however, in the case of political and election advertising. As we prepare to head into another federal election this fall, we anticipate an uptick in questions about Ad Standards' role in self-regulatory oversight of government, political and election advertising. The following is a brief primer on what is included and excluded from the application of the Code in this area and, consequently, when Ad Standards can accept and consider advertising complaints.

Government Advertising
The Code does apply to government advertising. Advertising by a government (whether local, provincial or federal) about the policies, practices or programs of the government is captured by the Code . So, for example, when the federal government wants to educate the public about the opioid crisis, that constitutes government advertising.

Did You Know: In 2016, the federal government introduced a policy of non-partisan advertising, and Ad Standards provides oversight of federal government advertising. Since 2016, the feds have prohibited partisan advertising and banned government advertising about pending policies within three months of a fixed election date. Ad Standards’ mandate is to review campaigns (mandatory review where the campaign costs over $500,000) to help ensure that government advertising is factual and objective, that no party slogans, images or indicia are used, and to watch for other potentially partisan identifiers. Since April 1, 2019, Ad Standards has been engaged in a similar non-partisan ad review process for the government of British Columbia. 

What is Excluded? Political and Election Advertising.
“Political advertising” and “election advertising” are excluded media under the Code . This means that Ad Standards cannot proceed with complaints it may receive about such ads. Political advertising refers to “advertising appearing at any time regarding a political figure, a political party, a government or political policy or issue publicly recognized to exist in Canada or elsewhere, or an electoral candidate. Election advertising is defined in the Code to include ads about “any matter before the electorate for a referendum, 'government advertising' and 'political advertising', any of which advertising is communicated to the public within a time-frame that starts the day after a vote is called and ends the day after the vote is held."

Although political and election advertising are excluded from the purview of advertising self-regulatory governance, Ad Standards has issued an advisory directed to sponsors of political and election advertising. Originally issued in 2015 and updated in 2019, the advisory is intended to remind those responsible for such advertising of the principles of truthful, fair and accurate advertising. Interested parties can find the advisory here .
Ad Standards Staff News
Our VPs are retiring: A big thank you to Janet Feasby and Nicole Bellam!

We would like to congratulate Janet Feasby, VP, Standards and Nicole Bellam, VP, Clearance Services on their upcoming retirements! Ad Standards is incredibly grateful for their combined contributions over the past 20 and 17 years (respectively) and wish them nothing but the best in their next chapters. Janet will remain with Ad Standards until May 31, 2019, and Nicole will remain until June 30, 2019; both will remain on retainer for the foreseeable future.
Appointment of Catherine Bate as Chief Legal & Policy Officer

Ad Standards is happy to announce the appointment of Catherine Bate to the position of Chief Legal & Policy Officer, effective April 29, 2019. Catherine is a renowned leader in the field of marketing, advertising and consumer product regulatory law in Canada. Please welcome Catherine to Ad Standards! She can be reached at

Clearance Services Staffing Changes

In conjunction with the retirement of Nicole Bellam, three Senior Clearance Analysts have each been promoted to the position of Director and will help fill Nicole’s role. Please join us in congratulating Jean Larivière, Ruta Rozentals and Dan Perry on their recent appointments!

Clearance Services Update
On May 3, representatives from Ad Standards attended a bilateral meeting in Ottawa hosted by Health Canada. This annual meeting is an opportunity to share information on topics of mutual interest related to Health Canada initiatives and health product advertising. Ad Standards will provide notification when the meeting’s Record of Discussion (ROD) becomes available on our website later this year. Past RODs can be found here .
A2C Event
On May 8, Ad Standards Clearance Services representatives Nicole Bellam and Jean Larivière presented an Alcohol & Food Workshop to the A2C membership in Montreal.

The workshop provided participants with information and insights to help them ensure their alcohol and food ads are compliant with relevant Canadian regulations.

If interested, Ad Standards members are encouraged to contact Randy Sageman, Director, Member Relations , to schedule an in-person presentation.
Member Survey
this is a reminder that all our members are invited to share their thoughts and opinions about the ongoing development of Ad Standards. This is an opportunity to share how you think we can better serve the advertising industry and refine our programs moving forward.

You should already have received an invite to complete the survey. If not, contact Randy Sageman .

Please complete the survey by no later than Friday, June 14, 2019.
Welcome to New Ad Standards Members and Official Representatives
Arterra Wines Canada, Inc.
Official Representative: Jeanette Lee, Senior Director, Legal Affairs

Headquartered in Mississauga, Arterra Wines Canada operates three commercial wineries, five estate wineries and over 1,700 acres of premium vineyards in Canada’s wine regions. It owns and operates 164 Wine Rack retail wine stores in Ontario and sells wine kits and products for winemaking through its RJS Craft Winemaking brand. It employs approximately 2,000 full-time and part-time staff across the country.
Atlas Content Studio
Official Representative: Garrett O’Neil, Vice President

Atlas Content Studio is a Toronto-based healthcare digital marketing consultancy. Founded in 2017, Atlas specializes in building educational content programs that highlight underrepresented and emerging areas of health.  
Ad Standards Member Logo
We encourage Ad Standards members to use our specially designed Membership Logo in their communications materials. Using this logo is an easy way to enhance consumer trust in your ads, as our Consumer Research indicated that a majority of Canadians (84%) are more likely to trust advertisements from Ad Standards members.

Contact Randy Sageman for access to the logo.
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