ASC General News

ASC Elects 2009/2010 Board of Directors at Annual Meeting

ASC held its Annual Meeting on April 29 at 8:30 a.m. at the Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto. During the meeting, ASC President and CEO, Linda Nagel thanked ASC members, volunteers and industry partners for their invaluable contributions over her 15 years as CEO of ASC and emphasized the importance of their continuing support to ensuring a strong self-regulatory environment for industry and consumers alike in this challenging time. ASC also announced that Randy Otto has been elected Chair of the Board for the upcoming year. The 2009/2010 ASC Board of Directors was also announced and includes the following members:

Executive Committee
Randy Otto (Chair), Pattison Outdoor Advertising
John Coyne (Vice Chair), Unilever Canada Inc.
Jim J.J. Johnston (Treasurer), Corus Radio Vancouver
Esmé Carroll (Immediate Past Chair), Zig Inc.
Ron Lund, Association of Canadian Advertisers Inc.
Jani Yates, Institute of Communication Agencies
Linda Nagel, (President and CEO) Advertising Standards Canada

Esther Benzie, Proctor & Gamble Inc.
Christina Bisanz, Consumers Council of Canada
Jim Bruce, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare Inc.
Yanik Deschênes, Association of Quebec Advertising Agencies
Ferg Devins, Molson Canada
Patrick Dickinson, The Bay
Steven Guiton, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Lorraine Hughes, OMD Canada
Marianne Lauzon, L’Oréal Canada Inc.
Sandy MacLeod, Toronto Star
Brett Marchand, Cossette Inc.
Jon Medline, Canwest Media Inc.
Deborah Rosser, Rogers Publishing Limited
Tammy Scott, TELUS Consumer Solutions
Crawford Wright, AstraZeneca Canada Inc.

ASC and ASC Clearance Services Launch New Web Sites

ASC announced the launch of two new web sites this week. Our redesign of the ASC and the ASC Clearance Services web sites has focused on creating robust, contemporary sites that better meet the educational, service and information needs of our stakeholders. “We set out to revitalize our web sites by strengthening the navigation and enhancing the overall functionality for consumers, industry and other stakeholders using our web sites,” commented Peter White, Senior Vice-President, Operations for ASC. “Over the next several months, we will be exploring additional tools such as a customized login for ASC members to increase access to information and the value of our online communications program.” To visit the new sites, go to and

ASC publishes 2008/2009 Annual Report

The ASC 2008/2009 Annual Report, featuring the volunteers, members, Board of Directors and ASC staff who contribute to self-regulation in Canada, is now available online and in print. Download or request a printed copy.

Robert E. Oliver 2009 Scholarship Awarded

ASC recently awarded the 2009 Robert E. Oliver Scholarship to Alexandra Warner, a fourth year student in the Bachelor of Business Administration program at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. In addition to her outstanding academic achievements, Alexandra volunteers with several organizations, including Stand Up Against Poverty and the World University Service of Canada.

First awarded in 1986, the cash award commemorates Robert E. Oliver, one of the pioneers of Canadian advertising self-regulation and recognizes individuals with outstanding academic performance, who have an exemplary record of service to the community and who plan on pursuing a career in advertising or marketing.

Board Approves Modification to Trade Dispute Procedure

ASC’s Board of Directors recently approved an amendment to the Trade Dispute Procedure. The amendment pertains to section 6.11 Failure to Co-operate with Procedure or Comply with Decision and public notification. Under the amended procedure, ASC will concurrently advise the exhibiting media and publicize the decision of the trade dispute panel to avoid time delays. The procedure can be found at Trade Dispute inquiries should be directed to Janet Feasby, Vice-President, Standards at or (416) 961-6311 ext. 243.

ASC Clearance News

ASC Clearance Services Announces a Full Slate of Spring Workshops

This spring ASC Clearance Services is offering ASC members and non-members a full agenda of educational workshops in the key areas of drugs, cosmetics and food advertising. Upcoming events include:

May 12, 2009
Demystifying the Requirements for Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs (DTCA Rx) and Direct-to-Consumer Information (DCTI)

May 28, 2009 Toronto | June 9, 2009 Montreal
Cosmetic Advertising Workshop, presented by ASC Clearance Toronto Services, in collaboration with CCTFA.

June 2, 2009 Toronto
The ABC’s of Food Advertising - An introduction to Food Advertising Toronto Regulations presented by ASC Clearance Services. A workshop in French will be held in Montreal on September 17, 2009.

For more information and to register online today!

ASC 2008 Ad Complaints Report Sees Emergence of Today’s Discerning Consumer

At our Annual Meeting in Toronto, ASC released its Ad Complaints Report - 2008 Year in Review. The Report provides information pertaining to the consumer complaints submitted to ASC for review against the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (Code) over the past year. In 2008, ASC received 1,119 complaints from consumers about 778 advertisements. Of those submitted, 126 complaints about 66 advertisements were found to contravene the Code by the independent volunteer Consumer Response Councils. Reflecting upon the consumer complaints received, Janet Feasby, ASC’s Vice-President, Standards noted, “From the complaints submitted to us in 2008, it appears that consumers are scrutinizing advertising - particularly retail advertising - with an increasingly critical eye. More than ever before, consumers cited concerns about advertisements that contained pricing errors, omitted relevant information, or lacked clarity.” See the complete Report.

2009 Q1 Ad Complaints Report Now Online

ASC released the 2009 Q1 Ad Complaints Report on May 4, 2009. The online report, covering the period from January 1, 2009 to March 31, 2009, provides case summaries of consumer’s complaints upheld by the Consumer Response Councils under the provisions of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards.

Advertising Self-Regulation is a Global Reality at ASC’s April 29 Breakfast Session

On April 29, following ASC’s Annual Meeting, ASC hosted a breakfast event with keynote speaker Dr. Oliver Gray, who presented “It’s a small, small world: Advertising Self-Regulation in the Global Reality” to the over 100 ASC members and guests in attendance. As Director General of the European Advertising Standards Alliance, Dr. Gray spoke about the global reality of advertising and the importance of transnational cooperation among advertisers and advertising self-regulatory bodies to address emerging issues cohesively to keep self-regulation as strong as it is today. Dr. Gray mapped key issues across five areas including food, alcohol, portrayal of women, environmental claims and digital media. Linda Nagel, President and CEO of ASC provided insights on the issues from a Canadian perspective. View the presentation.

Introducing Dr. Gray, Lisa Eaton, Managing Director, The Nielsen Company presented comparative findings on advertising spending internationally and in key advertising sectors. View presentation.

Advancing Advertising Industry Self-Regulation in Canada and Abroad

The advancement of advertising self-regulation in Canada takes many forms from industry outreach, information sharing to policy consultations. Over the past several months, ASC's senior management team has had a full agenda contributing to a broad range of Canadian and international advertising industry - related initiatives on behalf of our members and the future of responsible industry self-regulation. “Working closely and collaboratively with our industry partners and stakeholders in Canada and internationally is essential to strong and responsive self-regulation for our industry," commented Linda Nagel, President and CEO of ASC. Recent initiatives include:

  • ASC hosted a delegation from the State Administration for Industry & Commerce from the People’s Republic of China.
  • Linda Nagel, in her role as Chair of the International Council of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), recently attended the EASA meetings in Prague, Czechoslovakia and chaired the annual session of the International Council.
  • Janet Feasby, Vice-President Standards spoke as a panelist at the American Bar Association’s Annual Spring Conference, Business Law section. She also presented at The Canadian Institute’s Advertising and Marketing Law Conference to share insights from the 2008 Consumer Complaints process.
  • Linda Nagel and ASC’s Vice-President, ASC Clearance Services, Nicole Bellam participated in a Bilateral Meeting between Health Canada and Canadian Advertising Pre-clearance agencies. Nicole was also an active participant in Health Canada’s recent Brainstorming Workshop on Natural Health Products in Food Format. ASC Clearance analyst Ruta Rozentals and Nicole also spoke at the CCTFA Spring Regulatory Workshop.

Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) is the national not-for-profit advertising industry self-regulatory body committed to creating and maintaining community confidence in advertising. ASC administers the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, the principal instrument of advertising self-regulation in Canada, and a national mechanism for accepting and responding to consumers’ complaints about advertising. ASC members include leading advertisers, advertising agencies, and media organizations.