CMA Advocacy in Action – Summer 2018

Jul 10, 2018
Advocacy Standards

With summer in full swing, now is a great time to catch-up on important regulatory developments that you might have missed.

From engaging in several government consultations, hosting webinars and publishing new member content, the first half of 2018 has been busy for the advocacy team at the CMA. This high-level overview provides you with a succinct summary and links that you can click if you want to learn more. So, grab a refreshing beverage and read on!

Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice

In February, the board of the Canadian Marketing Association approved new requirements (section H.4) in its mandatory Code of Ethics for members, to expressly address unacceptable conduct such as harassment, sexual misconduct, discrimination, bullying and abuses of power in the workplace or workplace relationships. We also released a best practices document with useful tips to guide you if you find yourself dealing with a harassment complaint.

Privacy and Cybersecurity

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Prior to the GDPR going into effect on May 25, 2018, the CMA released a number of resources including a new guide to provide CMA members with an overview on general requirements, as well as insight on the implications for Canadian businesses.

Breach Regulations
Breach Regulations that take effect on November 1, 2018 will impose mandatory new notice and record-keeping requirements on organizations. Check out the CMA blog to get up to speed on what you need to know.

Guidelines on Consent
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) released guidelines on online consent and will begin to enforce them on January 1, 2019. CMA participated in the consultations leading up to the final guidelines and is preparing a series of educational resources for its members. Stay tuned for updates in the next couple of months.

CMA Studies: Attitudes towards Data Privacy and Transparency
In one of the studies commissioned and guided by CMA’s Privacy and Data Advisory committee, and conducted by Environics Research, it was found that consumers want to read privacy policies, but they must be user-friendly. The CMA also participated in a global study conducted on behalf of the Global Alliance of Data-Driven Marketing Associations. Copies of the reports and further analysis is available on the CMA Privacy Hub.


Canada’s Anti-Spam Law continues to be a cumbersome piece of legislation, but the government has heard CMA’s concerns and has signaled the need to amend the law. CMA participated on a panel at the IAPP Privacy Symposium to discuss the government's proposed changes and the impacts of CASL on Canadian marketing. Check out our compliance resources on CASL.

Consumer Protection

Québec Loyalty Programs Consultation
Québec is one step closer to becoming the second jurisdiction in Canada (first was Ontario) to have rules regarding loyalty programs. In its submission to the Government of Quebec, CMA noted that while it is commendable to see an approach that aims to protect point collectors from unwarranted surprises and encourages strong competition in the loyalty program arena, the draft regulations pose some challenges for loyalty program operators and create unintended consequences for Québec consumers.

Advertising and Marketing to Children
The CMA’s response to the federal Standing Committee on Health, on Bill S-228 An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act (prohibiting food and beverage marketing directed at children) highlighted several concerns, including the proposed ban extending the age threshold of children to 17. The age threshold has since been changed to 13, making it consistent with the CMA’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice definition of a child. The CMA was pleased that this key position was reflected in the Act.

Ontario Clarification of Gift Card Rules Consultation
The CMA provided commentary to the Government of Ontario’s proposed changes to clarify the gift card rules to proactively address marketplace confusion. Recommendations included the need to clarify how the rules apply to certain types of cards, as well as public education and expanded online resources.

In closing, to all the members who have taken the time to participate in our consultations on these issues, your ongoing support and involvement is incredibly valuable – thank you. CMA looks forward to ongoing impactful engagement and moving the policy needle in a positive direction.

Have questions, comments, suggestions or want to connect with the Government and Consumer Affairs team? E-mail us – we want to hear from you


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Florentina Stancu-Soare

Senior Manager, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs Canadian Marketing Association




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