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AD STANDARDS NEWS WINTER 2017 print version email this page decrease font size increase font size

Participation and Compliance on the Rise for the AdChoices Program

On February 8, 2017, ASC released the ASC AdChoices Accountability Program: 2016 Compliance Report. The annual report highlights the progress made by companies committed to the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada (DAAC) Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioural Advertising (DAAC Principles). The 2016 Report documents growth in both DAAC program participation and in participant compliance with the DAAC Principles. The DAAC Principles call for participants to notify consumers about online interest-based advertising (IBA) and provide consumers with the ability to opt out of this type of advertising. ASC’s primary focus is to help ensure participants are providing consumers with transparency and control mechanisms for IBA.

Key Findings
  • Participation in the DAAC program increased from 65 to 79 companies. Participants include leading ad networks, ad exchanges, and other advertising technology companies, as well as major publishers and advertisers.
  • The rate of compliance by DAAC program participants increased in 2016. In 69% (51 of 74) of reviews, ASC found that participants had compliant transparency and consumer control mechanisms in place, up from 20% (10 of 50) at the time of ASC’s initial review in 2015.
  • DAAC opt-out tool effectively removes IBA. ASC tested the DAAC opt-out tool for IBA (youradchoices.ca/choices) on 20 top websites visited by consumers and found that after selecting to opt out of all listed companies in the tool, IBA advertising ceased to be displayed.
  • AdChoices icon used by participants. 67% of participants have adopted the AdChoices icon and accompanying "AdChoices" text to inform consumers of IBA activity, thus building awareness of this important communication tool.

To learn more, read the media release and the full report.

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ASC AGM and the Global Marketer Conference – Toronto, April 27

ASC’s AGM will be held from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. All Members are welcome. Our AGM will be followed immediately by the Global Marketer Conference, an important international event that ASC is proud to sponsor.

Co-hosted by the Association of Canadian Advertisers and World Federation of Advertisers, the Global Marketer Conference provides attendees the opportunity to join some of the world’s most iconic brand names and network with the world’s top marketers. Marketing leaders will debate the challenges and opportunities currently facing them. See the speaker’s list.

Clearance Check

Clearance Services Updates

  • The revised Consumer Advertising Guidelines for Marketed Health Products, which will include vaccines and medical devices, will be released in summer, 2017.
  • Workshops focused on the Guidelines will follow. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar for dates.

2016 Consumer Complaints Are Now Online

ASC has recently published the Consumer Complaints Case Summaries through to the end of 2016. Watch for the Annual Ad Complaints Report – 2016 Year in Review, coming soon in 2017, on adstandards.com.

ASC at Industry Events

nextMEDIA Conference 2016

On November 10, Janet Feasby, Vice Present, Standards, discussed new amendments to the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (Code) at nextMEDIA, Canada’s leading digital media conference and networking event focused on the creation, distribution, and monetization of digital media content and technology. She participated in a panel discussion entitled "Blurred Lines: Best Practices for Disclosing Paid Content", which focused on the new Interpretation Guideline to Clause 7 of the Code, which requires online influencers to disclose any "material connection" between themselves and advertisers. The panellists discussed official paid content disclosure rules; how brands, agencies, and influencers can work together to ensure transparency; and best practices for disclosing paid content.

Other Panellists:
  • Marc Dinsdale, Facebook & Instagram
  • Jake Gold, The Management Trust
  • Amber Mac, Konnekt Digital Engagement & AmberMac Media, Inc.
  • Casie Stewart, Content Creator + Brand Storyteller
Média-Jeunes Conference 2016

On November 16, Danielle Lefrançois, Communications Manager, participated in a panel discussion at the 2016 Média-Jeunes Conference entitled "Challenges to Advertising in Youth Content". The panelists discussed Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act, a law enacted in the early 1980’s that prohibits commercial advertising to children under the age of 13. The discussion focused on the overall impact of advertising on children. It also touched on the potential social and economic impacts of amending the law to reflect current challenges faced by broadcasters and producers of local youth content. The participants then discussed the different realities faced by broadcasters in Quebec, where the Consumer Protection Act prohibits children’s advertising, and by those in English Canada, where advertising to children is allowed under a rigorous regulatory framework, which includes The Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children.

Other Panellists:
  • Luc Arbour, Bleu Blanc Rouge
  • Pierre Balloffet, HEC Montréal
  • Athéna Georgaklis, Corus Entertainment
  • André Allard, Office de la protection du consommateur
  • Dany Meloul, Bell Media
ASC Sponsors AdWeek’s Next Generation Day

In February, ASC participated in Advertising and Marketing Week’s Next Generation Day. This event provides post-secondary advertising and marketing students with a hands-on experience working alongside industry experts at participating advertising agencies. Christian Campbell, ASC’s Communications Coordinator, introduced the audience of students and instructors to the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, the Consumer Complaint Procedure and ASC Clearance Services.

ASC would like to thank the organizers of Next Generation Day for the opportunity to participate in this terrific event.

2017 IMAGE/in Award

On March 27, voting will open for the 2017 IMAGE/in Award. This award is presented by ÉquiLibre, a non-profit organization whose goal is to prevent personal and social issues related to weight and negative body image. The IMAGE/in Award recognizes a Québec-based fashion, media or advertising company that regularly promotes healthy and diverse representations of beauty standards. The Award is founded on the principles of The Québec Charter for a Healthy and Diverse Body Image. ASC is one of the signatories of the Charter.

The IMAGE/in Award will be given to an organization chosen by a public vote. The voting period will be open from March 27 to April 23, 2017. The public is asked to vote for one of five finalists, who were chosen by a jury of teenagers and industry professionals, including ASC’s Communications Manager, Danielle Lefrançois. A secondary prize, the Teen’s Choice, will be awarded to the company that receives the most votes from young people, aged 12 to 17.

Welcome to New ASC Members and Official Representatives


Official Representative: Bryan Gold, Co-founder, CEO

Based in Toronto, ON, #paid is a rapidly growing company that utilizes technology to facilitate collaborations between marketers and social media influencers. They have a strict mandatory disclosure policy, and use "#partner," "#ad," or “#paid” to disclose that the content is a paid-for post.

FCB Canada

Official Representative: Tim Bowen, Chairman

FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding) is a global, fully integrated marketing communications company with more than 8,000 people in 120 offices in 80 countries.

Gaz Métro

Official Representative: Diane Lapointe, Chef de service, Gestion de la marque et communications marketing

Gaz Métro is a leading energy provider. It is the largest natural gas distribution company in Québec, where its network of over 10,000 km of underground pipelines serves more than 300 municipalities and more than 200,000 customers. Gaz Métro is also present in Vermont, where it has more than 310,000 customers. Gaz Métro is actively involved in developing and operating innovative, promising energy projects, including natural gas as fuel, liquefied natural gas as a replacement for higher emission-producing energies, the production of wind power and the development of biomethane.

Influicity Corporation

Official Representative: Johnathan Davids, CEO

Founded in 2012, Influicity provides a platform for marketers, media buyers and publishers, to help manage and scale their influencer operations across YouTube, Instagram, and other social media channels. They work with clients on their influencer strategies, operating structures, and disclosure policies.

Purdue Pharma Canada

Official Representative: Kevin Skinner, Senior Director OTC/Business Development

Purdue Pharma Canada (Purdue) is a research-based pharmaceutical company with its headquarters, research & development (R&D) operations, and manufacturing located in Pickering, Ontario. The company, which employs more than 400 people across Canada, is involved in the research, development and commercialization of medicines for the treatment of pain and central nervous system disorders (ADHD). They also have an over-the-counter portfolio.

Royal Bank of Canada

Official Representative: Marina Seidl, Senior Counsel

Founded in 1864 in Halifax, NS, the Royal Bank of Canada is a Canadian multinational financial services company and the largest bank in Canada based on market capitalization. The bank has over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 35 other countries.

Viral Nation

Official Representative: Mathew Micheli, Co-founder

Founded in 2014, Viral Nation is an influencer marketing and talent agency that represents top social media influencers on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter & Snapchat. They handle the entire Influencer process for their clients with their own customized software to identify talent, track, report and analyze influencer campaigns from start to finish.

Welcome New Official Representatives of ASC Members

An ASC Official Representative (OR) is the person designated by an ASC member company as its principal liaison to ASC. The following ASC member companies have identified a new OR:

  • Gregory Major, Director of Marketing, Church & Dwight Canada Corp.
  • Gerry Harrington, Vice President, Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Consumer Health Products Canada
  • Geoff Kosar, Director Marketing, Diageo Canada
  • Nick Beck, Executive Producer, H&F Continuing Education
  • Scott Knox, President and CEO, Institute of Communication Agencies
  • Tiffany Heimpel, Director, Canadian Client Partnerships, IZEA, Inc.
  • Andrea Davis, Director, Government and Public Relations, McCain Foods Limited
  • Brad Conrad, Director, Policy & Planning, Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation
  • Vincent Lamoureux, Director – Corporate Affairs, Pfizer Canada Inc.
  • Angelika Heim, Partner, Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP
  • Patrick Menard, Marketing Director, ViiV Healthcare ULC

Membership Renewal 2017

ASC would like to send out a big "thank you" to all of our members who have already renewed their 2017 membership to support responsible and effective advertising self-regulation. We look forward to working with you again in 2017. If you have any questions about membership renewal, please contact Randy Sageman, Director, Member Relations, at randy.sageman@adstandards.com or 416 961-6311 x 241.

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Mark Your Calendars

Introduction to the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and Consumer Complaints Procedure
April 19 - Toronto

8:45 to 10:00 a.m.,
Continental Breakfast available.
ASC – Toronto Office
175 Bloor Street East
South Tower, Suite 1801
Toronto, ON, M4W 3R8
Learn more

ASC Annual General Meeting
April 27 - Toronto

8:00 to 8:30 a.m.
The Ritz-Carlton
181 Wellington Street West,
Toronto, ON, M5V 3G7

Introduction to the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and Consumer Complaints Procedure
May 2 – Montreal
(en Français)
8:45 to 10:00 a.m.,
Continental Breakfast available.
ASC – Montreal Office
2015 Peel St.
Suite 915
Montreal, QC, H3A 1T8
Learn more

Ad Standards is Canada’s national, independent, not-for-profit advertising self-regulatory body. We are committed to fostering community confidence in advertising and to ensuring the integrity and viability of advertising through responsible industry self-regulation. Ad Standards 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. Ad Standards Clearance Services reviews creative and offers consultative services in five categories, to help ensure advertising complies with relevant regulations.