CMA Advocacy in Action: Regulatory developments impacting marketing

Nov 30, 2020

The past six months have been a whirlwind. It is impressive to see the resilience of the marketing community during this unprecedented time.

Like many of you, we have had to pivot rapidly. Since the pandemic began, the CMA launched several initiatives to support marketers, including Marketing Connected, a content resource hub providing new content on the impact of the pandemic on the practice of marketing, the evolving nature of work, regulatory obligations for marketers during the pandemic, available government supports for employees and businesses, and the mental health and well-being of individuals working remotely and more. We invite you to check out these resources, along with Marketing Connected LIVE - a new webinar series where our president and CEO John Wiltshire talks to leaders in Canada's marketing community, futurists and forecasters about how organizations can innovate and prepare for recovery.

Our work continues on the advocacy and regulatory front. This blog will bring you up to date on developments since the start of the year.

To kick things off, we recommend you read our recent blog on navigating regulatory rules during the pandemic and beyond.

Canadian Marketing Code of Ethics & Standards

The CMA completed our final round of 2019 edits to the Canadian Marketing Code of Ethics & Standards. Key changes and updates were made to sections on testimonials and disclaimers, including influencer marketing, price claims, accessibility, email disclosure, telephone identification and contract information, and telemarketing recordkeeping. Compliance with the Code is mandatory for CMA members, so it's important for you to review and share these updates with your colleagues on an ongoing basis.

Privacy and Data Protection

New CMA privacy resources

To mark Data Privacy Day in January, the CMA released an updated Privacy Compliance Guide. In May, we acknowledged Data Privacy Week by publishing several resources to provide marketers with important privacy requirements and considerations during COVID-19. You can find these resources on our Marketing Connected hub, including blogs from the CMA on your privacy and security responsibilities during the pandemic and tips for you to stay secure when working remotely. If that's not enough and you want to brush up on everything marketers need to know about privacy, check out our ever-popular Privacy Essentials for Marketers workshop in November.

OPC privacy guidance during the pandemic

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) released official guidance on privacy obligations during a public health crisis, a statement on contact tracing, and guidance for the government to assess whether initiatives and public-privacy partnerships related to COVID-19 are compliant with privacy law.

Privacy law reform

The CMA submitted a response in December 2019 to the Government of Canada's Proposals to Modernize the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). We expect privacy law reform to be a high priority for government once normal operations resume.

Privacy is also on the mind of some provincial legislators. A Bill tabled in Québec in early June proposes significant amendments to Québec's private sector privacy legislation. The BC Government is consulting until August 14 on its private sector privacy legislation.

OPC consultation on artificial intelligence

The CMA submitted comments in response to the OPC's proposals to the Government of Canada for ensuring the appropriate regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) with respect to privacy. The appropriate regulatory treatment of AI warrants further time and thought beyond the consultation on PIPEDA, and we look forward to continued discussions with the federal government.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Two years after the GDPR went into effect, the marketing community is still adapting to the law's ambiguities, particularly in relation to consent and cookies. Read about the latest updates, their implications for Canadian organizations and what's on the horizon.

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

With its extraterritorial reach and potential for hefty fines, the CCPA, which came into effect on January 1, 2020, has had a significant impact on some Canadian organizations. Read our two-part blog series on the CCPA to learn more.

Competition Bureau prioritizes online marketing enforcement

Released by the Competition Bureau early in 2020, Competition in the Digital Age outlines the Bureau's vision to be a world-leading competition agency, at the forefront of the digital economy and championing a culture of competition for Caanda. With increased scrutiny of anti-competitive behaviour and deceptive marketing practices, here is what marketers need to know.

Influencer marketing

Truthfulness is vital to earning and retaining consumer trust and is an embedded principle within our Canadian Marketing Code of Ethics & Standards. To uphold that trust, influencers and the brands they work with, must ensure content does not break the law by providing appropriate disclosures that assist consumers in identifying potential affiliantion to a brand. To help you comply, keep the following top of mind.

Consumer Protection

We launched our new COVID-19 webpage for consumers, with information on scams, cyber fraud, misleading advertising, privacy and cybersecurity to help them stay informed and protected during the pandemic. We continute to encourage our members to share this information with their customer sand networks on an ongoing basis.

The regulatory landscape is constantly changing. The Canadian Marketing Association provides guidance and support to its members on a wide range of topics. Check our site for resources and updates and stay current by subscribing to our Top 5 Picks e-newsletter through MyCMA. 

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Florentina Stancu-Soare

Senior Manager, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs Canadian Marketing Association




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