On June 10, 2015, the Canadian Competition Bureau launched its new Deceptive Marketing
Practices Digest on a pilot basis. It aims to provide
businesses and consumers with topical guidance on various
advertising and marketing issues from the Bureau's perspective.
The Digest is not a legal document but rather contains
general information intended to promote a better understanding of
the Competition Act and other legislation enforced by the
In this regard, the Digest serves a similar purpose as
the Bureau's previous advertising and marketing-focused
publication, the Misleading Advertising Bulletin.
Going forward, the Digest will be published
periodically on the Bureau's website.
The first edition of the Digest
concentrates on some topical issues arising through online media
and specifically reviews the following:
The Digest reviews the growth of online advertising in
Canada and notes that it has become increasingly prevalent and
sophisticated. The trends of "behavioural advertising"
(i.e., the use of online behavioural data to
target advertising to specific customers) as well as
"geolocation" (i.e., the tracking of
customers' locations) are discussed. Also touched upon
are some emerging issues relating to disclosure in the digital
marketplace, such as (i) advertising falsely posing as information,
(ii) advertised prices that cannot be obtained and hidden costs, as
well as (iii) inadequately disclosed terms and conditions.
Misleading or "fine print" disclaimers
The Digest discusses issues in connection with
misleading or obscured disclaimers in advertisements and the
challenges arising from digital formats, which may include banners,
text-based hyperlinks and short video and audio clips, as well as
the interconnectedness of the platforms on which such ads appear.
The fundamental principles underlying the existing criminal and
civil provisions of the Competition Act relating to
representations to the public are also reviewed and are stated to
be relevant and applicable to these digital media issues.
The issue of "astroturfing", or the practice of
creating commercial representations that masquerade as the
authentic experiences and opinions of impartial consumers, is
reviewed in detail along with international efforts to curtail this
The preceding is intended as a timely update on Canadian
intellectual property and technology law. The content is
informational only and does not constitute legal or professional
advice. To obtain such advice, please communicate with our offices
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).