CMA Advocacy in Action: Mid-Year Report

Jul 31, 2019
Advocacy Standards

This is a busy year for the CMA advocacy team, with notable developments in privacy, cannabis marketing, consumer protection and competition law. Here’s what you need to know.

Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice

The first round of revisions to the CMA’s Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice were released in June, referencing evolving best practices in agency search, cannabis marketing, environmental citizenship and promotional contests. Compliance with the Code is mandatory for members, so it is important to review and familiarize yourself with these updates. The CMA’s Ethics and Standards Committee is continuing its in-depth review of the Code with a second set of updates expected this fall, so stay tuned!

Agency Search

To help agencies and brands strengthen their Request for Proposal processes, and to augment the best practices outlined in the Agency Search section that we added to the CMA’s Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice, we launched our Agency Search Toolkit. The toolkit includes several public and member-exclusive resources, with a new tool being added every two weeks throughout the summer. Read about the CMA’s agency search Initiative in this blog written by the Chair of our Brand Strategy Council and access the Agency Search Toolkit here.

Privacy and Data Protection

CMA Transparency for Consumers Guide

Digital Charter for Canada, Review of PIPEDA and More

In the spring, the Government  of Canada released the Digital Charter, a set of guiding principles for future digital policy, as well as  reform proposals to modernize Canada’s private sector privacy law, PIPEDA. The CMA is directly involved in the ongoing consultations to help shape the future state of the law, while continuing ongoing dialogue with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) on the current law, including responding to a recent consultation on third-party transfers. At the provincial level, the CMA is participating in the Government of Ontario’s consultations to develop a new Data Strategy. Stay tuned for key updates.

Comparing Privacy Laws Around the World

To help CMA members understand how Canada’s privacy law stacks up against other major regulatory frameworks, we compiled a side-by-side comparison of Canada’s PIPEDA and CASL laws with the EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA.

Publicly Available Information

Do marketers need to obtain consent to use personal information if it’s publicly available? Check out this blog from the CMA’s Privacy and Data Committee to find out how to comply with Canadian privacy law.

Consumer Protection

Québec Consumer Protection Act

There has been changes of the amendments to Québec’s Consumer Protection Act, which came into effect this month, including loyalty program rules and financial consumer protection measures. Given the substantial fines for those who contravene the Act or its regulations, CMA members are advised to review and update their policies and procedures.

Promotional Contests

Thinking of running a promotional contest? Access several resources including our Guide on Promotional Contests and an in-depth on-demand webinar.

Fraud Prevention

Fraud prevention is everyone's business. As a member of the Fraud Prevention Forum, the CMA works to ensure that the marketplace is free of fraud and that consumers are aware of the steps they can take to protect themselves.


Insights for Marketers

The CMA’s Working Group on Cannabis updated the CMA Permitted Cannabis Marketing Activities Guide in April. We have a second set of updates that we will be releasing in the weeks ahead. Our meetings with Health Canada have helped us gain better insights into the regulatory framework and to provide meaningful input to government officials on a variety of regulatory matters.

Protecting personal information – cannabis retailers and purchasers

Earlier this year, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) released guidance around the obligations of cannabis retailers and their customers’ rights under PIPEDA. It is vital that organizations take all necessary precautions to safeguard the personal information of customers.

Statistics Canada National Cannabis Survey Results

Topline findings for the first quarter of 2019 show that more users report obtaining cannabis from legal sources and that at the provincial level, there was minimal change in rates of cannabis consumption between first quarters of 2018 and 2019, with the exception of Ontario.

Competition Bureau

The new Commissioner of Competition shared his vision for the Bureau and competition law in Canada. Key takeaways for marketers include the continued prioritization of misleading representations made online and collaboration on borderless digital conduct.

Future-Proof Your Brand – Navigating Trademarks Changes

Have you considered how recent changes to Canadian trademark rules will impact your business? Read this CMA blog and download our one-pager Future-Proof Your Brand to read insights for brands, creative agencies and legal professionals on how to protect your portfolio of trademarks.

Government Budgets

The CMA applauded the federal budget's marketing and consumer initiatives. In Ontario, the CMA attended the Budget lock-up and issued a statement welcoming the Ontario Budget’s commitments to digital services and innovative skills training.

The regulatory landscape is constantly changing and staying up-to-date is important. If you are unsure of where to turn, the Canadian Marketing Association provides guidance and support to its members on a wide variety of issues. Check our site for resources and keep current on the highlights by subscribing to our Top 5 Picks e-newsletter through MyCMA.

If you want to contribute your insights to our advocacy work, please contact us.

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Florentina Stancu-Soare

Senior Manager, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs Canadian Marketing Association




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