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Advertising Standards Canada Releases Ad Complaints Report

TORONTO, May 4, 2009 -- Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) released its Ad Complaints Report - 2008 Year in Review at its Annual Meeting last week in Toronto. The Report provides information about consumers’ complaints submitted to ASC in 2008 for review under the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (Code).

2008 Complaints snapshot:
  • ASC received 1,119 complaints from consumers about 778 advertisements
  • 126 complaints, concerning 66 advertisements, were determined to contravene the Code by the independent volunteer Consumer Response Councils (Councils)
  • The retail advertising category garnered the highest number of complaints (154)

“From the complaints submitted to ASC 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,” noted Janet Feasby, Vice President, Standards.

The 2008 Ad Complaints Report and the Q1 2009 Ad Complaints Report, which includes case summaries of consumers’ complaints upheld by the independent Consumer Response Councils, are now available on ASC’s website (www.adstandards.com).

Advertising Standards Canada is the national advertising industry self-regulatory body. ASC administers the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, the principal instrument of advertising self-regulation in Canada, and accepts complaints from consumers about advertising. ASC’s members include leading Canadian advertisers, advertising agencies and media organizations.

For more information, contact:
Janet Feasby
Vice President, Standards
Toronto, Ontario
Tel: (416) 961-6311, ext. 243
janet.feasby@adstandards.com


Fact Sheet - Advertising Standards Canada

  • Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) is the national, not-for-profit industry body committed to ensuring the integrity and viability of advertising in Canada through industry self-regulation.
  • ASC’s members include leading Canadian advertisers, advertising agencies, media organizations, and suppliers to the advertising industry.
  • ASC administers the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, the principal instrument of advertising self-regulation. The Code’s clauses help ensure that advertising is truthful, fair and accurate, and are used to evaluate consumers’ complaints about advertisements appearing in Canadian media.
  • ASC accepts and responds to written complaints from consumers who have a concern about an advertisement appearing in Canadian media. Complaints can be submitted:
    • online (www.adstandards.com)
    • by letter or fax (Advertising Standards Canada, 175 Bloor Street East, South Tower, Suite 1801, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3R8, fax: 416 961-7904).
  • Complaints that raise potential issues under the Code are reviewed and adjudicated by independent, volunteer National and Regional Consumer Response Councils that include both industry and public representatives.
  • Upheld complaints are published in ASC’s online Ad Complaints Reports, available on ASC’s website (www.adstandards.com).
  • ASC’s recorded toll-free line provides information about the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and the process for submitting consumer complaints: 1-877-656-8646.

Contact:
Janet Feasby
Vice President, Standards
Toronto, Ontario
Tel: (416) 961-6311, ext. 243
janet.feasby@adstandards.com