CMA Advocacy in Action: Key Developments in 2018

Dec 13, 2018
Advocacy Standards

Tis’ the season to get cozy with your computer, tablet or mobile and get up to speed on the regulatory developments and insights marketers need to know. We’ve wrapped up all the highlights from the last 6 months in one convenient package – enjoy!

Privacy and Cybersecurity

CMAprivacy event
Featuring Abubakar Khan from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and three panel sessions, the sold-out CMAprivacy morning event focused on major privacy developments of 2018. Topics included the development of a national data strategy, GDPR and calls to amend Canada’s private-sector privacy law. Learn about the key takeaways in this CMA blog.

This must-read CMA article highlights requirements that are particularly challenging for organizations in Canada and questions the advisability of importing a GDPR-like regime to Canada.

Guidelines on Consent
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner released guidelines on how organizations can gain meaningful consent and will begin to enforce them on January 1, 2019. Read this CMA blog to learn what these new consent guidelines mean to your business.

Mandatory Breach Notification
Mandatory breach notification regulations came into force on November 1, 2018. This CMA blog, which was updated to reflect revisions that were made to the final regulations after a short government consultation, will tell you what you need to know.

Mandatory Health Privacy Breach Reporting
In Alberta, mandatory breach reporting requirements under the Health Information Act came into force on August 31, 2018. Health custodians are now required to notify not only the individuals affected by a privacy breach if there is a risk of harm to those individuals, but also the Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Minister of Health.


The CRTC’s information bulletin 2018-415 discusses the Commission’s general approach to section 9 of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). Of particular note: it is possible for an individual or organization to be held liable and face administrative monetary penalties for violating CASL, even if they did not intend to do so or were unaware that their activities enabled or facilitated contraventions of the law. Penalties could be as high as $10 million per violation. Read the blog prepared by CMA’s Digital Council about this development.


In October, CMA published its Permitted Cannabis Marketing Activities Guide. This comprehensive resource is relevant not only for front-line marketers in the cannabis sector, but also for agencies, professional services firms and others who support the industry. It covers activities such as flyers, websites, social media, packaging and the sale of non-cannabis items such as promotional items. Read more and download the members-only Guide.

Consumer Protection

Advertising and Marketing to Children
CMA provided commentary to Health Canada’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Survey. CMA reiterated the importance of a regulatory environment that does not result in unintended consequences for consumer and unnecessary restrictions on businesses as the government prepares to finalize its proposal to restrict the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages in Canada.

Promotional Contests
Contests in Canada generate a lot of buzz and interest and companies across all industries use them to attract consumer attention. Work on the CMA Promotional Contests Guide was completed this year and the revamped, more comprehensive Guide, will be released with accompanying resources early next year – so stay tuned!

Québec Loyalty Programs
Québec is the second jurisdiction after Ontario to enact loyalty program legislation. Of importance to members is that there are situations where the Act does not apply and as of August 1, 2018, points can no longer expire unless there is inactivity of not less than one year. An overview and background information on this file can be found here. Further guidance for members is coming soon.

Manitoba’s Accessibility Standard for Customer Service is now in effect. This means that any business or non-profit organization in the province that has at least one employee must meet the Customer Service Standard for accessibility. Check out the in-depth resources available.

Environmental claims
An important reminder that companies who are promoting the green aspects of their offerings need to be aware of the laws that govern advertising and competition in Canada. To avoid regulatory risks, businesses that make environmental claims like “eco-friendly”, “organic” or “green” must comply with the federal Competition Act. Know the rules, read this CMA blog.

Missed what the public affairs team at the CMA was up to in the first half of the year? You are in luck. We have the perfect summary for you right here.

As we wrap up and reflect on the past year and look forward to 2019, CMA would like to thank our members and wish you a jolly and bright holiday season!

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

profile picture

Florentina Stancu-Soare

Senior Manager, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs Canadian Marketing Association




Carousel title 2


Recent Work |

View All

Major Sponsors

  • TD-800x450
  • -420x120
  • CIBC-800x450
  • Canada Post
  • Environics Analytics
  • BMO-800x450

Featured Member

NEXT Canada logo