CMA Advocacy in Action: 2019 End of Year Wrap-Up

Dec 18, 2019
Advocacy Standards

As 2019 draws to a close and we reflect on the last year of this decade, we’ve pulled together a review of major regulatory activities since our mid-year update. So, grab a festive drink or treat and read on!

Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice

The CMA’s Ethics and Standards Committee has completed its in-depth review of the Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice, with the last round of updates set to be released in the first quarter of 2020. The second set of revisions were finalized in October and focused on updates to the privacy related sections of the Code. Compliance with the Code is mandatory for members, so it is important to review and share these updates with your colleagues on a regular basis.

Best Practices in Agency Search

Through the summer, we released a series of tools to support the best practices in agency search that were added to our Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice. Check them out in our Agency Search Toolkit.

Privacy,Data Protection and Anti-Spam

The CMA has continued its ongoing participation in the Government of Canada’s open consultation to modernize Canada’s private sector privacy law, PIPEDA, which followed the release of Canada’s Digital Charter earlier this year. In a newly released mandate letter, the Prime Minister has called onthe Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry to drive Canada’s Digital Charter forward, including through enhanced powers for the Privacy Commissioner and a new set of online rights for Canadians.

Consultation on Transfers for Processing
The CMA responded to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC)’s consultation on transfers to third-parties for processing. The consultation proposed reinterpreting PIPEDA to require consent for these transfers, and we are pleased with the OPC’s decision to maintain the status quo until a reformed law is announced. Read more about what this decision means for marketers here.

Privacy Essentials for Marketers Workshops
To support marketers keep up with breaking privacy developments, the CMA offered two in-person Privacy Essentials for Marketers workshops. Facilitated by leading Canadian Chief  Privacy Officers, participants tackled real-world compliance case studies, and gained insights on where the law is headed, in light of global developments. To see if you should brush up on privacy rules and join our next workshop in April 2020, take our 2 minute privacy quiz.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a bulletin to businesses that offer free in-store WiFi and collect customer data during this process with the intent of marketing to these customers. The bulletin reminded organizations that under CASL, these marketing communications are considered commercial electronic messages (CEMs). Read our blog for more information.

Ontario Data Strategy Consultations
The CMA participated in the Government of Ontario’s consultations to inform Ontario’s first-ever data strategy. The new strategy, to be released soon, aims to support new opportunities for data use across all sectors while ensuring privacy for individuals.

Consumer Protection

Internet Code of Conduct for Internet Service Providers
The CRTC released its Internet Code, with new safeguards to protect consumers. Set to come into effect on January 31, 2020, the Code will apply to service providers and be administered by the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services.

Political Ads

CMA worked closely with the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada (DAAC) to help advertisers comply with new provisions in the Elections Act requiring political ads to be more transparent. DAAC’s platform (available in English and French) to make it easy and cost-effective for advertisers to meet the transparency requirements under the Act without cluttering their ads. The CMA is a founding and active member of DAAC and represented on its board.


Accessibility is an area that offers great opportunities for businesses and has seen significant legislative changes over the last couple of years. Fines for violations can be substantial, so make sure you are informed. Our blog provides a jurisdictional scan of Canada’s accessibility laws to date, to help ensure you are current with the rules.

Cannabis Marketing

CMAcannabis Morning Event
This much anticipated sold-out morning event provided valuable insights for marketers, agencies, and others (e.g., lawyers, publishers, signage companies) that support marketers in the cannabis sector. Leading experts shared consumer research and explored current and future challenges and opportunities, including how companies can be innovative while complying with restrictive regulations.

CMA Cannabis Marketing Guide
The CMA’s Cannabis Marketing Guide provides information and insights to help marketers comply with the Cannabis Act and follow best practices. Our Working Group on Cannabis Marketing updated the Guide in November. Members can access the full Guide, while non-members can read an overview here.

Questions or comments? 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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