Spotlight on advocacy: Strengthening marketing’s crucial role

Oct 11, 2023

As the voice of marketing in Canada, the CMA champions marketing’s crucial role in driving business success.

One way that we strengthen the profession is by actively engaging with federal and provincial governments, and regulatory bodies, to provide meaningful insights on key policy and regulatory issues.

Over the past 18 months, we have met more than 40 times with key Members of Parliament, Senators, political staff and other decision-makers to address policy issues that impact marketing.

This year, we have participated (by invitation) in government consultations in six policy areas:

  • Canada’s proposed Consumer Privacy Protection Act
  • Canada’s proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act
  • Quebec’s proposed guidelines on valid consent under Quebec’s new privacy law (Law 25, formerly Bill 64)
  • Canada’s Competition Act
  • Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act
  • Ontario’s iGaming Standards

Our well-reasoned positions and submissions are developed through Committees of subject matter experts from our membership and offer perspectives for lawmakers and regulators as they consider policy changes and reforms.

Our impact on privacy law reform

The CMA is a national leader in advocating for privacy law that protects consumers and enables innovation. Canada’s proposed Consumer Privacy Protection Act reflects several recommendations that the CMA put forward to amend the earlier version of Bill C-27 (released in 2020 as Bill C-11).

We regularly author op-eds and lead, or participate in, collaborations with other business associations to strengthen the industry voice on privacy law reform and other topics. Here are some examples:

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry has expressed appreciation on more than one occasion for the CMA’s “constructive engagement and valuable input”. The former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister stated publicly that the federal privacy bill: “would not have been possible without the active engagement of your members and the CMA itself, and we are very much indebted to you for your support and assistance along the way.”

The CMA is also active in privacy law reform discussions at the provincial level. For example, we were one of only five business-oriented associations invited by Quebec’s privacy regulator to provide feedback on its draft guidelines on valid consent under Quebec’s new privacy law.

Cutting-edge research

We publish high-quality research to support our positions on key policy topics. In addition to recent consumer research on privacy rules, which will be cited in our submission on Bill C-27, we released two key reports on privacy law reform that attracted media coverage in Forbes and The Drum.

Future of competition

The CMA filed a submission and participated in consultations on the federal government’s review of the Competition Act. We proposed criteria to consider before adopting new prohibitions, remedies to address deceptive conduct, and deceptive design patterns.

Consumer protection

We participated in the Government of Ontario’s consultation on modernizing the Consumer Protection Act. Our most recent advocacy efforts focused on several issues, including the need to ensure that reputable businesses have a reasonable degree of flexibility to design products and promotional offers that are well-suited to a variety of customers, rather than being required to follow overly standardized rules.


We provided a response to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario consultation on whether to restrict athlete and celebrity participation in advertising for iGaming.

We are pleased that our recommendation to permit the use of celebrities and athletes for the purpose of responsible gambling messaging to support efforts that address social impacts of gambling was adopted.


In addition to our many advocacy initiatives, the CMA interacts frequently with regulators to clarify marketing rules so we can provide our members with guidance about how to effectively apply them to day-to-day marketing activities.

To learn more about our advocacy initiatives and our guidance, reach out to us at

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Sara Clodman

Chief Public Affairs and Governance Officer Canadian Marketing Association




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