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 »

Competition Bureau’s Annual Internet Advertising Enforcement Sweep Focuses on False or Misleading Endorsements

Earlier today, the Canadian Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced that its most recent annual Internet advertising sweep focused on false or misleading online endorsements (see: Annual Internet Sweep Focuses on Online Reviews and Endorsements). The Bureau said that this year’s annual Internet sweep was aimed at “identifying websites that may use online reviews or endorsements as part of their business model”. It also suggested that enforcement following its review of its sweep may range from formal investigations to warning letters to companies. The Bureau participates in annual Internet advertising sweeps together with other major global competition/antitrust enforcement agencies through the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN). This year’s Bureau Internet sweep follows the recent publication of ICPEN’s Online Reviews and Endorsement Guidelines (for my earlier post on ICPEN’s guidelines, see: New Online Reviews and Endorsements Guidelines Give Practical Guidance to Marketers, Reflect Competition Bureau Policies). Previous Bureau online sweeps have … read more »

Why CASL is Bad for Canada’s Economy and How to Lighten It

Guest post by Andrew Shiestel tbk Creative Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is anti-competitive for our Canadian businesses and it’s a large thorn in Canada’s dream of developing a world-leading ‘digital economy’. CASL is a problem for two primary reasons and I’ll explain both in more detail throughout this article. First, CASL is anti-competitive. For companies who wish to comply with CASL, there are a number of requirements they must meet—more so than any privacy legislation of its kind in the world—prior to being allowed to send out commercial electronic messages (CEMs). For instance, when seeking express consent on a website, a company’s subpage must have a form that has the company’s name; their mailing address; their phone, email, or web URL; a consent message detailing what the business plans to do with the recipient’s email; a statement in the consent message clearly stating that the user may withdraw their consent … read more »

Major Brand Agrees to Penalty in CASL (Canadian Anti-spam Law) Consent Case

On September 1, 2016, Kellogg Canada Inc. (“Kellogg”) agreed to pay a $60,000 penalty in relation to an alleged violation of the consent provision of Canada’s federal anti-spam legislation (CASL) under a voluntary undertaking. Under the terms of the undertaking, Kellogg has agreed to pay a monetary penalty, comply with (and ensure that any 3rd party authorized to send commercial electronic messages on its behalf complies with) CASL and to review and update its anti-spam compliance program. This most recent CASL case is interesting for several reasons. In general, it shows that the CRTC (the Canadian enforcement agency primarily responsible for enforcing CASL) is still working through matters that arose early after CASL came into force two years ago and that penalties, while not at the top end of the corporate maximum, have generally been significant. The CRTC has also targeted firms of all sizes in its enforcement efforts to … read more »