October 2020
Ad Standards News and Updates
A Word from Our President
Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving albeit with the COVID touch of virtually shared family meals.

We have been active at Ad Standards launching key projects outlined in this newsletter; our revised digital-friendly preclearance logo to help build consumer trust and our annual complaint report along with updated COVID reporting.

COVID has equated to increased member outreach opportunities. We have held virtual sessions with member marketing, regulatory and agency partners. Please let us know if we can offer an information session for you.

It may not be well known - we review both the BC and Federal governments’ ads to ensure they are non partisan. COVID ads continue to be a priority for governments to inform Canadians and we have had a dedicated team reviewing ads 24/7 – literally.
These are such interesting times and we have created a fast track system for COVID related consumer complaints similar to our fellow self regulatory organizations (SRO) with the International Council for Ad Self Regulation (ICAS). It is both helpful and informative during a global pandemic to have a resource to share experience and discuss solutions. This pandemic has brought international SROs together on a regular basis to share and learn from our specific experiences. One thing that is consistent is a global pandemic mirrors similar concerns from the public whatever the country.

For the foreseeable future, we continue to work from home staying safe and we look forward to helping you in any way possible.

Take care from all of us at Ad Standards.
-Jani Yates, President & CEO, Ad Standards
Ad Standards Clearance Services Check Mark
We are announcing the launch of our updated Preclearance check mark logo, newly re-designed to communicate in digital, video and print formats that an ad or information message has been vetted by Ad Standards Clearance Services.

With the help of Anderson DDB Health & Lifestyle, our agency partner, we refreshed the check mark logo in order to make it more flexible across various media platforms, including digital. This more effectively builds consumer confidence in all aspects of a precleared campaign and more widely informs the public about the importance and value of advertising preclearance.

The new material includes a digital, check mark only version that advertisers place in the top left corner of online banners and link to our landing page, and a video/print version that incorporates a more memorable visible URL. Our submitters are encouraged to use either version as a visual symbol of compliance with the rules, guidelines, codes, laws and policies for specific product categories.

Learn more about the check mark initiative at precleared.ca.
Ad Complaints and Disputes Report
In September, Ad Standards released the Ad Complaints and Disputes Report: 2019 Year in Review, which provides an account of the consumer complaints we received and investigated in 2019.

  • 1142 ads generated one or more consumer complaints (1858 complaints total).
  • 700 ads were considered by staff under the Code.
  • 267 ads raised one or more potential issues under the Code.
  • 50 ads were referred to Council.
  • 37 ads were found to contravene the Code.

We also report on the two cases resolved under the new Advertising Dispute Procedure, along with updates about a new interpretation guideline, and updates to the Standards Council implemented in the past year.
Ad Complaints During COVID-19 and Other Updates
Ad Standards issued two advisories related to advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first, issued in March, relates to substantiating advertising claims in the context of the pandemic. The second advisory, from August, provides some insights about the types of complaints we are receiving about advertising related to the COVID-19 pandemic, how we handle them, and some practical tips for the advertising industry to comply with the Code. At the end, we provide a by-the-numbers overview of complaints received during the first four months of the pandemic. Watch for an update to this latest advisory with more recent data, coming soon.

We also issued a new advisory related to the role of external precedents in matters before Ad Standards, and minor updates to Interpretation Guideline #6 relating to the scope of “government advertising”, “political advertising” and “election advertising”.
nabs Fall Fundraising Drive
On September 24, Denise Rossetto, Chair of nabs and Jay Bertram, Executive Director, announced the launch of a national campaign to raise $200,000.00 by year end.

“For 37 years, nabs has been there to provide unwavering and generous support to people and families in our industry. In times of illness, strife, economic downturns and consolidation, nabs has rallied to ensure free access to programs, mental health professionals and financial support in times of crisis. We have been there for over 50,000 individuals supporting them during their time of need” said Denise Rossetto.
Jay Bertram explained further, “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted our ability to raise funds through our traditional events and corporate donations. We anticipate that this trend will continue well into 2021 with all the uncertainty related to the pandemic. While we are actively pivoting to move more of our events to a virtual format, and new ways to raise funds for our charity, the numbers speak for themselves.” 
Bertram continued, “In 2020 nabs has supported a record number of individuals and families and the numbers continue to grow. nabs now needs your support to help raise $200,000.00 to ensure critical programs and services are there for our people. The time has come for our industry to put #nabsfirst so we can continue to put #peoplefirst.”

Visit nabs.org to learn more about this terrific organization, the work they do, and most importantly, to donate.
Ad Standards Scholarship and Riipen Project
In 2018, we committed to updating our scholarship in several important ways. First, we added a second $1500 award. One scholarship is now open to students attending a primarily English post-secondary institution and one is open to students attending a primarily French post-secondary institution. Second, in 2019, we streamlined the application process. Among other changes, students can now submit their applications directly to Ad Standards, they no longer need to pay for and submit official transcripts, and we now ask for one accompanying essay instead of two.

With these improvements in place, our focus in 2020 turned to raising awareness. To do this, we collaborated with Riipen, a company that brings industry and academia together on real company projects that are facilitated by instructors and embedded directly into curriculum. With the help of their coordinators and helpful online platform, we connected with an instructor at York University, who integrated our project into a marketing course. This generated valuable insights and recommendations that we’ve begun incorporating into our scholarship outreach strategies. To learn more, read our Riipen case summary.

We’d like to thank the team at Riipen, and the instructor and students at York University for their help and input. The results of this project will greatly help us as we continue to support the next generation of Canadian advertisers and marketers.
Marketing Evolution: C-Suite Summit 2020
November 3 – 19, bi-weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Strategy’s annual Marketing Evolution: C-Suite Summit has introduced virtual programming with bi-weekly webinar sessions by an all-star CMO lineup. This year’s event will explore shared marketing challenges presented to brands in 2020 – from navigating the new consumer landscape and adapting to the new economic outlook, to moving forward with diversity.

Get a corner-office perspective to hear how brands’ priorities are shifting and policies changing!

Get a special discount for Ad Standards members: Save $25 with the promocode MESPARTNER.

Media Literacy Week
Ad Standards is pleased to support Media Literacy Week 2020, October 26-30. Media Literacy Week is an annual national campaign hosted by MediaSmarts and the Canadian Teachers Federation to promote digital and media literacy, with activities and events hosted by classrooms, libraries, museums and community groups from coast to coast to coast (currently online only). Watch Ad Standards’ social media channels for more details on how we’re taking part, as well as the hashtag #MediaLitWk to follow along all week long!
Merry Mingle Holiday Zoom
Save the date! Ad Standards’ signature year-end clearance services event is going virtual.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 1 from 1:30 - 2:30 pm ET. This is a chance to connect (virtually) with Ad Standards analysts, staff, and colleagues. Join for some virtual, merry mingling, and learnings about advertising self-regulatory principles as applied by our preclearance and standards services. Be sure to dress to impress with your best, ugliest holiday sweater!

More details to follow (by invitation).
Upcoming Ad Standards Events
Presented in English
Date: Thursday, October 15, 2020
Time: 1:00 to 2:30 pm
Free for Members
$20 (plus tax) for Non-Members

Presented in French
Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020
Time: 1:00 to 2:30 pm
Free for Members
$20 (plus tax) for Non-Members

Presented in English
Date: Thursday, November 12, 2020
Time: 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Free for Members
$20 (plus tax) for Non-Members

Presented in French
Date: Thursday, November 24, 2020
Time: 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Free for Members
$20 (plus tax) for Non-Members
Welcome to New Ad Standards Members and Official Representatives
American Marketing Association (Toronto Chapter)
Official Representative: Bala Raghavan, VP, Partnerships & Sponsorships
Operating for more than 60 years, the American Marketing Association’s Toronto Chapter is a not-for-profit community of volunteer marketers who create opportunities for personal and business growth. AMA is an internationally recognized marketing association with more than 20,000 members around the world.
Durham Region Transit
Official Representative: William (Bill) Holmes, General Manager
Durham Region Transit is the regional public transit operator in Durham Region, Ontario, east of Toronto. Its headquarters are in Whitby, Ontario, and there are regional centers in Ajax, Whitby, and Oshawa. 
Giants and Gentlemen
Official Representative: Gino Cantalini, Co-founder and COO
Giants and Gentlemen is an eight year old, Toronto based, full-service, strategy, advertising & design agency with over 30 employees. They also have an in-house performance and technology media partner, Push.
No Fixed Address Inc.
Official Representative: Serge Rancourt, Co-founder & CEO
As an independent agency based in Toronto, No Fixed Address has quickly grown to over 100 NFAers. Ad Standards is pleased to welcome Serge as a new Board member
Official Representative: François Tremblay, Sales Director
Numerator is a data and tech company serving the market research space. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Numerator has 1,600 employees worldwide. The company blends proprietary data with advanced technology to create unique insights for the market research industry.
Samplits Inc.
Official Representative: Burl Mathias, CEO
Samplits offers a product sampling solution to Consumer-Packaged Goods companies for the purpose of product trial and gathering consumer data and insights.
Official Representative: Grant Schuetrumpf, President, Advertising
YANGAROO provides a secure Digital Media Distribution System (DMDS) cloud-based platform that deliver music and videos to broadcasters and other media outlets globally. YANGAROO Awards powers many major awards programs in North America, handling entire submissions, review, streaming, and voting processes.
Membership Renewals
As a heads up, Ad Standards’ 2021 member renewals will start going out during the first week of November. Thank you for your continuing support of responsible and effective advertising self-regulation in Canada. We look forward to working with you again.

If you have any questions about membership or your renewal, please contact Randy Sageman, Director, Member Relations, at randy.sageman@adstandards.ca or 416 961-6311 x 241.
Did You Know?
There are a number of resources available for Ad Standards Members:

  • Educational Events - Ad Standards hosts forums, workshops, seminars and supports other industry events to raise awareness of emerging advertising industry news and trends. Frequently, we are able to offer discounted (or complimentary) registration for our members to such events. Check out our Event Calendar periodically to stay abreast of available opportunities.
  • Virtual Coffee? - We’re always eager to catch-up, learn and to educate. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to book a call or presentation.
  • Resources - Use Ad Standards’ extensive online library as a one-stop repository of information regarding advertising industry self-regulation. In addition to Ad Complaints Reports and the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and related documents, you will also find Ad Standards consumer research, current guidelines and important information pertaining to advertising preclearance.
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.
Ad Standards | 416-961-6311 | info@adstandards.ca