Not For Profits Should Review The Canadian Code Of Advertising Standards

Author:Ms Eva Chan
Profession:Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

​Advertisements must be truthful.  This applies to advertisements from not for profit organizations as well.  For instance, the application of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards ("Code"), which is administered by Advertising Standards Canada ("ASC"), includes advertising by organizations or institutions seeking to improve their public image or advance a point of view. 

Over the past few years, a number of complaints against not for profits have been upheld by ASC.  In the majority of the cases, the Accuracy and Clarity clause was contravened.  Among other things, the Accuracy and Clarity clause provides that:

Advertisements must not omit relevant information in a manner that, in the result, is deceptive Both in principle and practice, all advertising claims and representations must be supportable The advertiser must be clearly identified in an advocacy advertisement (which is defined as advertising which presents information or a point-of-view bearing on a publicly recognized controversial issue) For example, in one case, a not for profit was found to have contravened the Accuracy and Clarity clause of the...

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