Need Canadian Contest Rules and Forms For a Promotion?

Are you running a Canadian contest or sweepstakes and need forms for terms and conditions, disclosure and winner releases? I can help and offer a variety of contest forms and contest packages for running popular types of contests in Canada, excluding Quebec. These include rules and forms for random draw, skill (or consumer generated content), trip and Facebook contests. The contest forms I offer include only short and long rules for these commonly run types of promotions, as well as packages that include short rules, long rules and winner release forms. While these packages are not legal advice, they are sophisticated precedents and an excellent and economical way to run your contest. For more information about the contest rules and forms I offer, see: Canadian Contest Forms. ___________________ SERVICES AND CONTACT I offer business and individual clients efficient and strategic advice in relation to competition/antitrust, advertising, Internet and new media … read more »

Competition Bureau Cautions Businesses to Back Up Environmental Claims, Issues New Guidelines

Earlier today, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) issued a Business Alert warning businesses to ensure that their eco-related claims, such as using the terms “organic”, “green” and “eco-friendly”, comply with the federal Competition Act, particularly the false or misleading advertising and performance claim provisions. See: It’s not easy being green. Businesses must back up their words. More specifically, the Bureau provided the following compliance guidelines for businesses that want to promote their products with eco-friendly claims: Before making environmental claims, businesses must make sure that the claims: 1. Aren’t misleading or likely to result in misinterpretation. 2. Are accurate and specific. 3. Are substantiated and verifiable. 4. Are relevant. 5. Don’t imply that the product is endorsed by a third-party organization when it isn’t. While there are no specific provisions of the Competition Act that address environmental claims, a number of sections can potentially apply depending on the type of claim. … read more »

Is It Time to Reward Competition Act Whistleblowers?

In my new Canadian Lawyer column today, I discuss the whistleblower provisions of the Competition Act and ask whether rewarding whistleblowers would strengthen competition law enforcement in Canada. Below is an excerpt with a link to the full column. ____________________ With the federal government’s new budget anticipated soon, infrastructure spending is once again on the minds of many Canadians. In the government’s last budget, it pledged to spend $120 billion over 10 years. Government spending means more procurement, which in turn can mean more bid rigging or other competition law issues among suppliers. To tackle potential procurement-related competition law violations, the federal Competition Bureau has increased its efforts to educate government bodies on how to detect and deter anti-competitive practices. The Bureau has also enhanced its efforts to enforce the criminal provisions of the Competition Act. Some of the bureau’s recent criminal enforcement initiatives include anti-bid-rigging presentations to public procurement … read more »

CASL (Anti-Spam Law) Private Action Rights Come Into Force July 1st: 10 Key Points

On July 1, 2014, Canada’s new federal anti-spam legislation (CASL) largely came into force. Since it was introduced, both the CRTC (the primary enforcement body) and the Competition Bureau have been enforcing the legislation, with penalties to date ranging from $48,000 to $1.1 million. Beginning on July 1, 2017, however, the risks of violating CASL, as well as related sections of PIPEDA (the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) and the Competition Act, will be significantly greater. This is because private individuals and organizations affected by a violation of CASL will have a right to commence private actions when sections 47 to 51 and 55 come into force. In general, the new private right of action will allow private parties (i.e., as opposed to the federal regulators) to commence applications to recover damages, which, in some cases, could be assessed to be as much as $1 million a day. … read more »

Ten Key Issues That Can Arise in Canadian Contests and Practice Tips

Practical Law Canada Competition has published a new Legal Update, which discusses key issues that can arise in Canadian contests (with practice tips for counsel to advise their clients). Below is an excerpt with a link to the full Update.

Lawyer Advertising Report to Come Before Convocation in Early New Year

Earlier today the Law Times published an interesting update to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s (LSUC) review of lawyer advertising (see: LSUC Action on Advertising Coming This Year). In its note, the Law Times reported that the LSUC Treasurer said he expects that the Society’s report on lawyer advertising would come before Convocation for recommendations no later than February, 2017. Lawyer advertising in Ontario has been subject to increased scrutiny over the past several years, which led to an Advertising and Fee Issues Working Group and an Advertising & Fee Arrangements Issues Working Group Report. The LSUC has been reviewing the regulation of lawyer advertising in Ontario based on, among things, complaints that some law firms are advertising for services that they do not intend to provide (and in fact, conduct extensive advertising campaigns to refer incoming business to other law firms). Interestingly, the LSUC has indicated that it has … read more »

ABA/CBA Consumer Protection Conference – Atlanta (February 2nd)

On February 2nd, the Canadian Bar Association will be co-sponsoring a one-day Consumer Protection conference in Atlanta with the American Bar Association.  The conference will be held at the Atlanta Aquarium (with a welcome reception at the World of Coca-Cola on the evening of February 1st) and features discussions on various cutting-edge topics such as:  government enforcement priorities in advertising/marketing and other areas, compliance challenges, best practices when responding to government investigations, regulation and disruptive technologies, claim substantiation in new or evolving industries, privacy/data protection in a digital world, and international trends. We have a wide variety of accomplished speakers including: the Honorable Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman, Federal Trade Commission, Honorable Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission, Matthew Boswell, Senior Deputy Commissioner, Competition Bureau, Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Consumer protection officials from the Florida, Virginia, and Nebraska State Attorney Generals’ Office and corporate … read more »

Ontario to Mandate “All-In” Prices For Travel Advertising, Reflects Larger Regulatory Push For Upfront Pricing

Earlier today, the Ontario Government announced that it was introducing new rules to ensure up-front pricing for travel services (amendments to the Ontario Travel Industry Act). In particular, the Government will require that travel advertising includes taxes and fees as of January 1, 2017. The changes announced today will apply to any advertisement by a registered travel agent or wholesaler that refers to the price of travel services, including any print, television, radio or online advertising. In making the announcement, the Ontario Government said: “All-in pricing reduces confusion and prevents surprises for consumers who purchase travel services in the province, such as all-inclusive vacations”. The Government also announced that it was launching a public consultation to solicit public opinion on ways to strengthen protection for travellers. This announcement reflects a larger Canadian regulatory trend for companies to clearly disclose total fees for their goods or services upfront. For example, full … read more »

Moose Knuckles Settles “Made in Canada” Advertising Case, Second Use of Competition Tribunal’s Mediation Process

Earlier today, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced that Moose Knuckles has entered into a settlement to resolve alleged false or misleading “Made in Canada” claims relating to its down-filled parkas (see: Competition Bureau resolves Made in Canada advertising concerns with Moose Knuckles and Consent Agreement). Moose Knuckles has agreed to donate $750,000 to Canadian charities (e.g., those that provide winter jackets to needy children), qualify its country of origin claims (by stating “Made in Canada with Canadian and imported components), not make any advertising claims that create the general impression that its parkas are made exclusively with Canadian inputs and implement an internal competition compliance program. The Bureau had commenced an inquiry into Moose Knuckles’ “Made in Canada” claims and filed an application before the Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) last spring under the civil misleading advertising section of the Competition Act (section 74.01(1)(a)). The Bureau’s position was that the company’s claims … read more »