Advertising to Canadians

Jan 22nd '20

Foreign advertisers should be aware of the unique aspects of Canadian law and culture that govern advertising in Canada. For example, in the province of Québec, language laws mandate equal prominence of French on all packaging, product warnings and instructions, and greater prominence of French at point-of-sale and, in many circumstances, in advertising and promotions. This requirement reduces the amount of space available to advertisers, especially in the case of packaging for national products. Most recent amendments to Québec’s language laws concern the requirement to ensure a sufficient presence of the French language when using non-French trademarks on storefront signage.


In this blog, we share things you should know and to do when advertising to Canadians.


Things to know
  • Federal and provincial laws prohibit representations for the purpose of promoting a product or service that are false or misleading.
  • Advertising to children in the Province of Quebec is prohibited; children are defined as being under the age of 13.
  • Advertising to children elsewhere should comply with the Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children and the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, as well as general false / misleading advertising laws.
  • Sweepstakes and Contests are often impacted by illegal lottery and advertising laws.
  • Complaints made under the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards are handled by an industry self-regulatory body, Advertising Standards Canada.


Things to do
  • Confirm that express or implied savings claims can be substantiated against the “ordinary” or “regular” price” based on time or volume tests set out in the Competition Act.
  • Obtain adequate and proper testing before making comparative claims.
  • Document that testimonials represent a customer’s honest belief based on experience with the product or service.
  • Ensure promotional contests are structured to avoid gaming offences in the Criminal Code and to comply with applicable contest disclosure, registration, duty and security rules.
  • Ensure advertising directed to children is not available in Quebec.
  • Ensure that header and sender information in your electronic messages, and the content of your messages, are not misleading.


About us

At LS Consultancy, we provide a cost-effective and timely pre-publication advice to make sure all your advertising and campaigns are compliant, clear and suitable for their purpose.


We are experts in Marketing and Compliance, and work with a range of firms to assist with improving their documents, processes and systems to mitigate any risk.


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