Key Canadian Advertising and Competition Law: Compliance Strategies

Avoiding Misleading Advertising Violations Amid Increased Enforcement and New Rules

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will examine current Canadian competition law and enforcement issues for advertisers and marketers conducting business in Canada. The panel will offer best practices for advertisers and explain the key differences between Canadian and U.S. enforcement.


The Canadian Competition Act contains civil and criminal prohibitions on misleading representations and regulates specific types of advertising and marketing practices. Violations can lead to “administrative monetary penalties” of up to $10 million and court orders to cease conduct and pay compensation.

The Competition Bureau has ramped up enforcement efforts. Recent Bureau and private litigation challenges include price and performance claims, use of disclaimers, and the application and scope of the “general impression test.” Developments include increased sectoral regulation and federal anti-spam legislation.

To effectively minimize legal risk, marketers and advertisers in Canada need to know the basic rules that apply to price and performance claims, sales and other promotions (including contests), disclaimers, electronic marketing, and the enforcement agencies’ evolving approach to new technologies.

Listen as our panel of Canadian and U.S. attorneys provides a guide to important competition compliance rules for counsel to companies and associations conducting advertising and marketing operations in Canada. The panelists will review current litigation and Competition Bureau enforcement developments and provide practical compliance guidelines to avoid triggering allegations of misleading representations.


  1. Competition Act and advertising/marketing
    1. Misleading representations
    2. Comparative claims and advertising
    3. Price claims
    4. Performance claims
    5. Sales and promotions
    6. Contests
  2. Anti-spam legislation
  3. Competition Bureau enforcement trends
  4. Best practices for advertisers/marketers
    1. Practical considerations for U.S. companies
    2. Key differences between Canadian and U.S. enforcement approach


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What types of representations are currently under heavy scrutiny by the Competition Bureau?
  • How should marketers prepare for the federal anti-spam legislation expected in 2013?
  • What kinds of safeguards are needed to ensure that price, performance or comparative claims or the use of disclaimers do not violate the Competition Act?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Steve Szentesi
Steve Szentesi Law, Vancouver, Canada

He has advised domestic and foreign business clients in relation to a broad range of Canadian advertising, marketing, consumer protection, competition/antitrust and regulatory law matters. His work includes counsel to individuals and organizations on compliance with laws and regulations in these areas, as well as education and policy services for companies, associations and government agencies.

Christopher A. Cole, Partner
Crowell & Moring, Washington, D.C.

He handles matters involving false advertising, unfair competition and trade regulation, commercial matters, libel and disparagement, brand protection, and defense of government enforcement proceedings. He has earned national accolades for his work in the area of false advertising litigation under the federal Lanham Act.

Mark C. Katz, Partner
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Toronto, Canada

He has advised domestic and international clients on a wide variety of competition law matters, such as mergers and acquisitions, criminal cartel investigations, joint ventures, abuse of dominance, distribution and pricing practices, misleading advertising and compliance, and other legislation governing foreign investment in Canada.

Anita Banicevic, Partner
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, Toronto, Canada

She advises domestic and international clients on many aspects of Canadian competition and foreign investment review law, including mergers, criminal and civil investigations, misleading advertising, and other pricing, distribution and general compliance matters.


Recorded Event

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Antitrust Law Advisory Board

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Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Tyler A. Baker


Fenwick & West

W. Joseph Bruckner


Lockridge Grindal Nauen

Gregory J. Casas


Greenberg Traurig

Robert W. Doyle


Doyle Barlow & Mazard

David B. Goroff


Foley & Lardner

Allen P. Grunes



Robert N. Kaplan


Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer

Christopher J. Kelly


Mayer Brown

James J. Long


Briggs and Morgan

Milton Marquis


Dickstein Shapiro

Janet L. McDavid


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Kevin D. McDonald


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Daniel F. McInnis


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Saul P. Morgenstern


Kaye Scholer

John Thomas Rosch

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Constantine | Cannon

M. Sean Royall


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Douglas M. Tween


Baker & McKenzie

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