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Advertising Standards Canada Releases Ad Complaints Report - 2009 Year in Review

TORONTO, March 11, 2009 -- Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) today released its Ad Complaints Report – 2009 Year in Review. The Report provides information about consumers’ complaints submitted to ASC in 2009 for review under the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (Code).

This Report also includes an overview of consumer complaints about advertising in the years spanning 2000 to 2009, and highlights changes over the past decade in consumers’ concerns as expressed in complaints to ASC.

2009 complaints snapshot:

  • ASC received 1,228 complaints from consumers about 760 advertisements
  • 80 complaints, concerning 56 advertisements, were determined to contravene the Code by the independent volunteer Consumer Response Councils
  • The food advertising category, including advertising by food manufacturers, food retailers and restaurants, garnered the highest number of complaints (163)

“With the economic downturn, consumers have become increasingly value-conscious, comparing prices and searching for deals and discounts,” stated Janet Feasby, Vice President, Standards. Feasby also noted that in 2009, ASC heard more frequently than ever from consumers when they did not get a product or service at the advertised sale price; when an advertised product was unavailable; and when important limitations on offers were not clearly disclosed.

The 2009 Ad Complaints Report, along with the Q1 2010 Ad Complaints Report, which includes case summaries of consumers’ complaints upheld by the 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