ASC General News

ASC brings Consumerology to Advertising Week 2010

ASC and the ACA sponsored the presentation of the latest Bensimon Byrne Consumerology Report - January 2010: Technology and Consumers during Advertising Week 2010. Speaking to an audience of about 300, Jack Bensimon, President of Bensimon Byrne and David Herle, principal partner of Gandalf Group, emphasized that the combination of multi-tasking and increased use of Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) presents new challenges to advertisers who rely on television. “The overall learning from this study is that technology is fragmenting our attention spans dramatically,” said Bensimon. “Advertisers must accept they no longer have a captive audience. Whatever your product service or message, it needs to be of high interest or it will not sustain awareness.” The Consumerology Report is produced by Bensimon Byrne in collaboration with the Gandalf Group. It is a quarterly survey of 1,500 English and French-speaking Canadians. To read the complete January 2010 report, visit

This sold-out event was ASC’s second opportunity to partner with Bensimon Byrne in presenting the Consumerology Report. The first event “How Green Is Your Promise? Consumer Perceptions & Government Expectations about Environmental Advertising Claims” was held in October 2008.

ASC Revises Trade Dispute Procedure

In late 2009, ASC’s Board of Directors approved amendments to the Trade Dispute Procedure, which came into effect on January 4, 2010. While largely administrative, the amendments are designed to add clarity to the Procedure for users. Amendments have also been made that reinforce the longstanding principle upon which the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (Code) and the Procedure is based. “The amendments support the fundamental principle that self-regulatory standards and the dispute resolution process benefit our industry at large and apply equally to all advertisers,” commented Janet Feasby, Vice President, Standards for ASC. Information about the amended procedure was distributed to members in November 2009. Click here to read and/or download the revised Procedure.

If you have questions about the Trade Dispute Procedure and recent amendments, please feel free to contact Janet Feasby, VP, Standards at (416) 961-6311 x243 or email at

ASC 2009 Q4 Ad Complaints Report Now Online

ASC has released its 2009 Q4 Ad Complaints Report, covering the period from October 1 to December 31, 2009. The report provides case summaries of consumer complaints about advertising that were upheld by the Consumer Response Councils under the provisions of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards. Click here to view the Report.

ASC’s Annual Ad Complaints Report Scheduled for Release in early March

ASC’s year-end 2009 Ad Complaints Report will be released in early March as an online publication, available on ASC’s website. This year-end report provides statistics about the number and nature of consumer complaints submitted to ASC for review under the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (Code), as well as a review of consumer concerns as reflected in their complaints to ASC over the past decade.

The report notes that consumers’ complaints to ASC, during the first half of the decade, raised concerns about advertising that used adult content and sexual innuendo appearing in family oriented mainstream media. By the end of the decade, consumers’ complaints were increasingly focused on concerns about advertisements they found to be misleading, inaccurate, or did not contain all pertinent details of an offer.

Case summaries of complaints upheld in 2009 by the national and regional Consumer Response Councils are also available as quarterly reports on ASC’s website.

If you have questions about any ASC complaints reports, or are interested in a customized presentation about the Code, please contact Janet Feasby, Vice President, Standards, at 416-961-6311, ext. 243.

Strength in Members

In this issue of Communiqué, we continue our salute to the people and organizations that support advertising self-regulation through membership in ASC.

Jim “JJ” Johnston, General Manager, Corus Radio Vancouver and Treasurer, ASC Board of Directors

Jim Johnston One of Canada’s most successful integrated media and entertainment companies, Corus Entertainment has been a strong supporter of all aspects of ASC’s activities. Corus’ commitment to ASC and to responsible advertising self-regulation in Canada is embodied in the dedication and hands-on involvement of Jim “JJ” Johnston, the General Manager of Corus Radio Vancouver and the esteemed Treasurer of ASC’s Board of Directors.

JJ has “lived” Radio for the past 35 years. Dedicated to the world of broadcasting, he has held a variety of positions with Corus including five years as General Manager of Corus Radio Toronto, comprised of 640 Toronto Radio, Q107 and 102.1 The Edge. JJ was also the General Manager of Edge-TV, General Manager and Program Director of Mix 99.9 Toronto. Prior to joining Corus, he was a Vice President of Programming for Standard Broadcasting and National Program Director for both WIC Communications and Moffat Communications in Canada.

Today, JJ is General Manager of the Corus Radio Vancouver cluster comprised of CKNW, AM730 All Traffic All the Time, Rock 1010 and CFOX. Throughout his career, he has served on the boards of BBM, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) including membership in the CAB’s quarter century club, as well as several years at FACTOR, where he served as Chairman from 1997-1999. He is a nine-time recipient of Canada’s Program Director of the Year Award and received Vancouver’s prestigious ‘40 under 40’ in 1991. He is currently VP of the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters and on the Board of Canadian Women in Communication.

JJ’s commitment to his community and to the spirit of volunteerism is tireless. He is a current member of the Downtown Vancouver Association and is a Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International’s highest honour. An avid runner, JJ has run 14 marathons and is a former member of the Board of the Achilles Track Club of Canada. He has assisted visually impaired members of the club over the marathon finish line.

JJ brings his renowned level of enthusiasm and energy to his role as Treasurer and as a Director of ASC. “Whether you’re an advertiser, agency or a media partner, I believe that a commitment to responsible advertising self-regulation and to membership in ASC is a business imperative,” explains JJ. “The most effective way for us to maintain Canadian consumer confidence in advertising is through unwavering industry support for the fundamental principle of truth in advertising and steadfast commitment to a robust self-regulatory framework through ASC.”

ASC’s strength lies in the ongoing support and commitment of our members and volunteers who generously donate their time, expertise and resources. We are stronger for the contribution of JJ Johnston and the membership of Corus Entertainment.

New Members Join ASC

A commitment to responsible advertising self-regulation is demonstrated through membership in ASC. We are delighted to announce the following new members. Welcome to ASC.
Amelie Groupe
D3 Publishers of America
Egg Farmers of Canada
Konami Digital Entertainment Inc.
Ontario Place
Post Foods Canada

ASC Clearance News

ASC Clearance Services to Launch Definitive Guide to Children’s Broadcast Advertising Clearance

Coming in early March 2010, ASC Clearance Services will be launching its new, definitive guide to Children’s Broadcast Advertising. “We developed the new guide to help advertisers, advertising agencies and broadcasters develop commercials that comply with The Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children (Children’s Code), “commented Nicole Bellam, Vice President, ASC Clearance Services. “By using the Guide, stakeholders will gain a better understanding of which commercials require clearance, the key steps to getting a children’s commercial to air, and the key elements of the Children’s Code.”

The Children’s Broadcast Advertising Clearance Guide will be launched at the ASC Clearance Services Children’s Advertising Workshops to be held in Toronto, March 2nd and March 4th. Following the workshops, the Children’s Guide will be released on our ASC Clearance Services web site at Learn more about the workshops and register here.

ASC Clearance Services Holiday Seminars Well-Received

ASC Clearance Services’ held its Annual Holiday Breakfast Seminars in Montreal and in Toronto in late 2009. Attended by over 75 and 200 industry members in Montreal and Toronto respectively, the ASC Clearance Services Team presented the highlights in the five regulated clearance sectors of food and beverage, alcoholic beverages, consumer drugs, cosmetics and childrens advertising. Hosted for our ASC Clearance Services clients, the holiday seminars provided an invaluable opportunity to keep current with clearance issues and network with industry colleagues and the ASC Clearance analysts.

ASC Clearance Services to Host Nonprescription Drug and Natural Health Product Workshop

Watch for our upcoming Toronto workshop on advertising of nonprescription drugs and natural health products this Spring. Hosted by ASC’s consumer drug clearance team, this interactive and informative workshop will help advertisers and their agencies develop compliant advertising in this sector. This session will illustrate the do’s and don’ts of nonprescription drug and natural health product consumer advertising in Canada. Details will be announced soon.

Upcoming ASC Events

Save the Date!
ASC’s 2010 Annual Meeting & Breakfast Coming in April

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Watch for details

Upcoming Industry events and courses

Check Out Upcoming Industry Events & Courses

ICA Professional development workshops and courses
ACA Spring Courses
CMA Events

NABS Ad Auction Starts Last Week of March

NABS logoThe National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS) will re-launch its 19th annual media auction starting in the last week of March. Media Buyers and clients can bid online on a great selection of media at discounted rates. Funds raised will be used to help those in need within the advertising, media and communications industry. Watch out for the redesigned auction website in late March. For more information on the NABS 2010 Ad Auction, email

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.