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Children's Appeal Procedure

1.1 An appeal process is available to any advertiser whose commercial(s) has/have been rejected, in whole or in part, by the Children’s Clearance Committee.

1.2 Advertisers must lodge their appeal in writing outlining their reasons for an appeal, without unreasonable delay, after receiving notification of the Children’s Clearance Committee’s decision.

1.3 The written appeal must be directed to the Vice President, Standards, ASC, with a copy to the Chair, Children’s Clearance Committee. The written appeal request will be deemed to be incomplete unless it includes all such information as, in the opinion of ASC Standards, may be necessary to enable an appeal panel to reach an objective decision in the matter.

2.1 Requests for appeal will be accepted if, in the opinion of ASC Standards, in relation to the commercial(s) in question and the circumstances of the case:

  1. it appears that the advertiser has extended all reasonable efforts to negotiate approval of the rejected commercial(s); and
  2. it would be possible for an appeal panel, acting reasonably, to determine that, contrary to the conclusion of the Children's Clearance Committee, the commercial(s) does (do) not contravene, the provisions of The Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children.

2.2 ASC Standards will, within two business days after receiving a request for appeal, make its determination under paragraph 2.1 above, and notify the advertiser and the Chair, Children’s Clearance Committee simultaneously whether or not the requested appeal will be accepted by ASC Standards.

3.1 An appeal will ordinarily be considered and adjudicated by an appeal panel within five business days from the time notice is received by the advertiser that ASC Standards has accepted the request for appeal.

3.2 Advertisers or the Chair, Children’s Clearance Committee may, at any time prior to the date first set for the consideration and adjudication of the appeal by an appeal panel, request from ASC Standards a reasonable extension of time before which the appeal will be considered and adjudicated by the appeal panel.

4.1 ASC Standards, after notifying the parties that the request for appeal has been granted, will assemble and identify a conflict-free panel of three members (including a chairperson) who will consider and adjudicate the appeal.

4.2 The appeal panel will be composed of two persons representing the industry sector (comprising advertisers, advertising agencies, or media organizations); and one public representative.

Appeal panellists will be drawn from a resource pool that includes members of the Consumer Response Council (established pursuant to the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards to adjudicate consumer complaints about advertising).

ASC Standards shall be entitled to modify the composition of the appeal panel if, because of the unavailability of candidate panellists, it is not possible to convene a panel of the exact constitution described above in this paragraph 4.2.

4.3 Each person selected to serve as an appeal panellist will be required to attest that he or she has no conflict of interest in considering the appeal and to agree to keep confidential all aspects of, and materials submitted for, the appeal.

4.4 The appeal panel, at an in-person meeting or via telephone conference call, will consider and adjudicate the appeal at the earliest possible time that is convenient for all members of the panel.

5.1 Materials acceptable for appeal:

  1. The materials from which an advertiser may appeal are limited to the following: audio/ visual material containing the rejected commercial(s); and the written materials (such as, but not limited to, the correspondence and memos between the parties relating to the rejected commercial(s)) that are attached to the advertiser's request for an appeal, as submitted to ASC Standards.
  2. The materials which an appeal panel may consider are the materials in 5.1 (a) above plus the correspondence and memos between the parties relating to the rejected commercial(s) that the advertiser did not attach to the advertiser's request for an appeal.

6.1 Each appeal will be conducted in accordance with the following procedure:

  1. The appeal will be considered and adjudicated on the basis of written submissions only.
  2. A representative of the Children's Advertising Section of ASC will be made available at the request of and as a resource to the appeal panel to answer questions from the appeal panel relating to the then current children's advertising review and approval procedure followed by the Children's Advertising Section of ASC, the context within which the commercial(s) was/were rejected, and the precedents that have any bearing on the rejection.
  3. A representative of ASC Standards will be present during and throughout the deliberations of the appeal panel until it has rendered its decision. The function of this representative is to provide objective advice to the panel on the Children’s Advertising Appeal Procedure and on precedents. This representative will not participate in the subjective decision-making function of the appeal panel. This representative will function as the appeal panel's recording secretary, if requested by the panel to do so.
  4. Decisions of the appeal panel will be by majority vote.
  5. All decisions shall be final and binding upon the parties and will not be subject to further appeal.
  6. The written decision of the appeal panel will be provided simultaneously to all parties in the appeal proceeding within five (5) business days from the conclusion of the panel’s deliberations

6.2 Confidentiality: ASC, the appeal panellists, the Children's Clearance Committee and the appellant advertiser shall, in writing, agree in advance that they will maintain confidentiality of the appeal, the information that becomes or is made available throughout the appeal procedure and process and the result or disposition of the appeal. All inquiries received from third parties about any commercial which is, in fact, approved by an Appeal Panel, and consequently broadcast in Canada, must be re-directed, without comment, to ASC’s Children’s Clearance Section which may acknowledge only that the on-air commercial was approved, on appeal.