Advertising & Marketing

The Davis LLP Advertising & Marketing Group creates agile legal solutions for clients using the same effective approach that drives successful advertising and marketing campaigns – through careful research, strategic planning and innovative thinking.

CASL Resource Centre

The Canadian law and practice of advertising and marketing is complex, comprising a myriad of federal and provincial/territorial statutes and regulations, court decisions, and government regulatory body decisions, directives, enforcement guidelines and policies. It also deals with scores of industry and other self-regulatory body decisions, principles, guidance and codes of practice.

We have extensive experience advising on the rules for advertising and marketing in Canada, how they are applied in the Canadian marketplace, and how they are interpreted and enforced by Canadian regulators and courts. Our diverse and multi-disciplinary team of experienced lawyers include leading practitioners ranked in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and Best Lawyers in Canada. With market-leading expertise in competition, consumer protection, data governance, intellectual property, litigation and privacy, we provide top-tier legal support to advertising and marketing clients operating in a wide range of sectors, including the agricultural, automotive, aviation, banking, beverages (including alcoholic), cosmetics, consumer electronics and appliances, education, energy, entertainment, food, gaming, medical devices, natural health products, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, prescription drugs, medical marijuana, retail, sports, textiles, telecommunications, transportation and video games sectors.

The breadth and depth of our experience encompass a comprehensive range of services in advertising and marketing law including:

  • reviewing advertising in all media (namely, print, television, radio, out-of-home, online, electronic messaging and social media) to minimize the risk and defend against challenges by government regulators, industry self-regulators, consumers or competitors in respect of flashpoints such as

> comparative advertising claims

> substantiating performance claims

> consumer preference and other surveys

> endorsements and testimonials, especially in the context of bloggers, brand ambassadors and influencers (to avoid allegations of “astroturfing”)

> environmental claims (to avoid allegations of “greenwashing”)

> disclaimers in advertisements including appropriate disclosures on mobile devices and to avoid allegations of “mobile cramming”

  • pre-clearance or dispute resolution proceedings before self-regulatory bodies such as Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) and the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (PAAB)
  • investigations and proceedings regarding alleged advertising and marketing misconduct brought by or before the Competition Bureau and the Competition Tribunal
  • criminal proceedings and class action lawsuits in the courts
  • Canada’s Anti-spam Legislation (CASL) requirements for sending commercial electronic messages and installing software
  • online behavioural advertising (OBA)
  • beacon technology, including geo-location and other targeted advertising
  • self-regulatory initiatives such as the AdChoices Program operated by the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada
  • data governance and privacy, including privacy policies, privacy audits, protection of personal and other information, and responding to data breaches
  • pricing and distribution practices
  • ordinary price claims
  • all-in pricing generally and in specific industries (like aviation) and in specific jurisdictions (like Quebec)
  • minimum advertised price (MAP) policies
  • contests (including those conducted in Quebec, with user-generated content and on social media platforms) and other promotional activities including giveaways
  • gift cards and other stored value payment cards
  • loyalty programs
  • mobile payments, including wearable technology, Near Field Technology (NFT), and mobile payment apps;
  • direct mail marketing
  • telemarketing
  • tobacco advertising
  • word-of-mouth marketing
  • cross promotions and co-branding
  • native advertising
  • prankvertising and guerilla marketing
  • big data, customer analytics and programmatic advertising
  • advertising to children, especially given the restrictions in Quebec
  • provincial/territorial consumer protection laws, including appropriate disclosures in advertisements for consumer lease and finance offers
  • unclaimed intangible property laws
  • protecting corporate brands and trade-marks, and counselling clients as to how to avoid infringing on the intellectual property of others
  • sponsorships (athlete, venue, event and corporate)
  • French language requirements both federally and in Quebec
  • joint marketing, distribution and co-packaging
  • packaging and labelling
  • developing and implementing robust, credible and effective in-house compliance programs
  • commenting on public policy and lobbying for changes to advertising & marketing laws

We regularly speak and write on topical issues in advertising and marketing law to keep our clients up to date on industry best practices and legislative developments. Our online CASL Resource Centre is a popular resource and we recently contributed the Canada chapter in the Getting the Deal Through, Advertising & Marketing Law Guide, 2014.

We are prominent and active in the advertising and marketing industry generally. Davis LLP is a proud member of leading industry organizations, including the Canadian Marketing Association and Advertising Standards Canada. We participate in many of their events and contribute to many of their initiatives.

Davis LLP is an ASC member Davis LLP is a CMA member