Contests in Canada have a loyal following and high consumer engagement. They generate marketing buzz and interest, so it’s no wonder that companies across all industries use them to attract consumer attention.
Before launching a contest, marketers must be aware of contest laws in Canada. The main laws governing promotional contests are: Section 206 of the Criminal Code, section 74.06 as well as the misleading advertising provisions of the Competition Act, and Quebec’s Act respecting lotteries, alcohol, publicity contests and amusement machines and the common law of contracts.
Marketers should note that other rules can also apply such as CASL and privacy law.
In addition to provisions in the Canadian Marketing Code of Ethics and Standards, the CMA Guide to Promotional Contests provides useful background information about the relevant laws and regulatory guidance for marketers. The guide discusses relevant clauses from various laws, and an appendix found at the end of this document presents the actual legal wording. This guide is not meant to replace legal counsel and all contest sponsors should obtain legal advice before launching any kind of contest to help ensure full compliance with the law.