Online Behavioural Advertising.  

One form of Internet advertising.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Policy Position on Online Behavioural Advertising:  “In this case, an advertising service places an advertisement on a webpage based on tracking data collected across multiple unrelated websites. This practice refers to using information about where a user has been. For example if a user has visited websites about pets in the past, then ads related to pets might be shown on various web sites, even sites that are not related to pets (e.g., an online newspaper).”

Online romance scam.

Consumer Protection BC, “Top Ten Scams 2013 – Just in case a scam is around the corner”:  “You meet the person virtually through a social networking or dating site.  Your online romance scammer builds a relationship, sometimes spending several months in building a rapport online with the intention of making you feel that you are in a romantic relationship.  The person you met online turns out to be criminal who typically says that they are in a far away country and that they eventually want to meet the victim in person.  Around this time, the criminal will note that they can’t afford to travel and will seek assistance from you in covering travel costs.  Sometimes there’s an emergency, a sick family member for example, and that they need financial help from you to visit the sick individual.  Of course, the requests for help are all a scam and the money wired by the victim, often in very large amounts, is now in the hands of the criminal.”

Open loop gift card.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada: “There are two main types of prepaid cards.  Both require you to pay up front to ‘load’ money on to a card for later use and both are sometimes referred to as ‘gift cards’.  Prepaid cards from retailers can only be used at a single store or group of stores, such as a chain or shopping mall.  Other prepaid cards, usually branded with a payment card network operator’s logo, such as American Express, MasterCard or Visa, can be used at most merchants that display the specific network’s logo.”

Datacard Group: “A gift card is a type of stored-value payment card commonly issued by retailers and banks.  Gift cards are preloaded with a set value.  There are two major types of cards – those that can be used only at one store chain or one location (closed loop) and those that can be used anywhere (open loop).  Closed loop gift cards generally carry no fees or expiration date – the issuing store makes its money off the profit from selling merchandise.  Open loop gift cards always carry fees.  Because they are issued by banks or credit card transaction processors, such as Visa or MasterCard, fees are the only way they can profitably issue gift cards.”

Ontario Consumer Protection Act Regulations: “’Open loop gift card agreement’ means a gift card agreement that entitles the holder of a gift card to apply it towards purchasing goods or services from multiple unaffiliated sellers.”

Ordinary selling price claims.

Competition Bureau, Misleading Advertising and Labelling: “The false or misleading ordinary selling price provisions of the Competition Act are designed to ensure that when products are promoted at sale prices, consumers are not misled by reference to inflated regular prices.  The Act prohibits false or misleading representations to the public as to the ordinary selling price of a product, in any form whatsoever.  Ordinary selling price is validated in one two ways: either a substantial volume of the product was sold at that price or higher, within a reasonable amount of time (volume test); or the product was offered for sale, in good faith, for a substantial period of time at that price or a higher price (time test).”



I help clients practically navigate Canada’s advertising and marketing laws and offer Canadian advertising law services in relation to print, online, new media, social media and e-mail marketing.

My Canadian advertising law services include advice in relation to: anti-spam legislation (CASL); Competition Bureau complaints; the general misleading advertising provisions of the Competition Act; Internet, new media and social media advertising and marketing; promotional contests (sweepstakes); and sales and promotions. I also provide advice relating to specific types of advertising issues, including performance claims, testimonials, disclaimers and native advertising.

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