Marketing within the rules: Wrapping up 2021

Dec 14, 2021
Advocacy Standards

As we head into the final weeks of the year, catch up on the CMA’s advocacy and standards activities from the last half of the year and get a glimpse of what’s to come in 2022. 

Missed what happened in the first six months?
Read the mid-year update.


To understand how diverse, equitable and inclusive the Canadian marketing community is for individuals at all stages of their careers, the CMA has launched its second DEI survey of marketers. The findings will help us understand how we can cultivate an environment that is inclusive, respectful and supportive of all. To complete the survey, click here.

Privacy and Data Protection

With privacy rules under reform across Canada, the CMA has been actively engaged with federal and provincial governments to provide feedback on behalf of the marketing community, and to ensure coordination of privacy rules across the country.

Federal Privacy Law Reform

Although the federal government’s Bill C-11, which proposed to replace PIPEDA with a new Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA), was not adopted before the election, privacy reform was a commitment in the (newly re-elected) Liberal government’s election platform.

The bill – with amendments in a few key areas - proposed a fair and effective approach to update Canada’s federal privacy law, and the CMA is advocating to ensure federal law reform continues to be a national priority.

Provincial Privacy Law Reform

Ontario: After wrapping up a summer consultation on the possibility of bringing a private sector privacy law to Ontario for the first time, the province is not expected to proceed with a new law. Ontario will likely continue to rely on federal law for private sector privacy protection.

British Columbia: A Special Committee of the Legislative Assembly has reviewed feedback received from the province’s summer consultation on reforming its own private sector privacy law, the Personal Information Protection Act (BC PIPA), and has released a report with 34 recommendations for reform. The report highlights a number of important recommendations from the CMA.

Alberta: In the late summer, Alberta launched a brief survey on the need to reform its own Personal Information Protection Act (AB PIPA). The survey did not include detailed proposals for reform, and more consultations are expected.

See the CMA’s responses to the above consultations here.

Quebec: In September 2021, Quebec’s Bill-64 received royal assent, ushering in a new private sector privacy law for the province. The new law, which includes significant enforcement penalties, new GDPR-like rights for consumers, and stringent consent and transparency requirements, will have important consequences for companies that do business in Quebec and those that handle the personal information of Quebec residents. Most of the law’s provisions will take effect in September 2023, and marketers should begin to prepare their compliance plans now. See the CMA’s recent blog, and stay tuned for upcoming CMA guidance.

For questions or comments about privacy law reform, marketers are encouraged to reach out to Fiona Wilson, CMA’s Director, Government Relations.

Internet and Platform Regulation

The federal government has indicated its intent to proceed – in its first 100 days - with a new bill that would require digital platforms that generate revenues from the publication of news content to share a portion of their revenues with Canadian news outlets. They are also expected to pick up on two bills that didn’t pass before the election:

  • Bill-C-36 (originally introduced in June 2021) is intended to tackle online harms, and was accompanied by a whitepaper with plans to regulate hateful content on the major platforms. For updates, see the CMA’s Brand Safety webpage.
  • Bill C-10 (originally introduced in November 2020) intends to amend the Broadcasting Act to bring streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime under some of the rules that apply to traditional broadcasters.


CMA, in partnership with Ipsos and strategy, published the 15th annual Canadian Digital Marketing Pulse Survey, which measures familiarity and usage of 15 digital marketing tactics among client-side marketers and agencies. The study incorporates consumer perceptions and habits.

Key findings this year include:

  • About three-quarters (74%) of Canadians visited a social networking site in 2021, up from 69% in 2020, and 60% are willing to receive information from a social network – a three-year high.
  • More than nine in 10 (93%) marketers and agencies say they use social tactics always or often, even as people resume pre-pandemic behaviors.

Internet Gaming

CMA launched it’s Internet Gaming Committee in the fall and published a member-only overview of the upcoming expected changes that will impact marketers. The Committee is working towards developing more detailed guidance. Interested in joining the group? Contact Florentina Stancu-Soare, CMA's Senior Manager, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs.

Digital Marketing Rules

The Ethics and Standards Committee released a new guide that brings together the rules and regulations that organizations must follow in their digital marketing activities in Canada including email and text, influencer marketing and mobile apps. The Committee is working on guidance related to accessibility and other topics to be released in the coming year.

All of the documents and guidance provided through this blog can be accessed on our website under Advocacy – Policy TopicsMaintaining Standards or Compliance and Best Practices Guides.

Questions or comments? E-mail us.

Florentina Stancu-Soare | Senior Manager, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs | CMA
Fiona Wilson | Director, Government Relations | CMA




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