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Practice Area Definition

Advertising and Marketing Law Definition

The field of advertising law in Canada has a wide scope – it encompasses the substantive laws, both federal and provincial, that govern the content of advertising, as well as the myriad and increasingly complex commercial and transactional arrangements involved in the creation and delivery of advertising messages.

Lawyers practising in this area routinely advise their clients regarding proposed advertising claims and claims support, packaging and labelling, promotions and contests, ad agency and media contracts, advertising pre-clearance, comparative advertising, advertising disputes, mobile advertising and social media, and privacy issues, including those relating to outbound e-marketing and online behavioural advertising.

They must be familiar with not only the key legislation of general application to advertising content, such as the federal Competition Act and provincial consumer protection legislation, but also with legislation affecting certain regulated categories of products or services, such as foods, drugs, cosmetics, natural health products, tobacco products, automobiles, and financial services, among others.

Advice provided by advertising lawyers may be informed by other disciplines, such as corporate and commercial law, intellectual property law, administrative law and litigation, as lawyers practising in this area may be called upon to advise on contracts, the use of intellectual property (belonging to the advertiser or third parties) and regulatory investigations or proceedings or private actions for misleading advertising.

In the age of social media in particular, they also must be attuned to both the legal risks, and the reputational risks, associated with certain types of promotional campaigns.

A creative mindset and approach is important in this practice area, as advertising lawyers need to help their clients create and deliver advertising that respects the law while remaining compelling to consumers.

The field of advertising law in Canada has a wide scope – it encompasses the substantive laws, both federal and provincial, that govern the content of advertising, as well as the myriad and increasingly complex commercial and transactional arrangements involved in the creation and delivery of advertising messages.

Lawyers practising in this area routinely advise their clients regarding proposed advertising claims and claims support, packaging and labelling, promotions and contests, ad agency and media contracts, advertising pre-clearance, comparative advertising, advertising disputes, mobile advertising and social media, and privacy issues, including those relating to outbound e-marketing and online behavioural advertising.

They must be familiar with not only the key legislation of general application to advertising content, such as the federal Competition Act and provincial consumer protection legislation, but also with legislation affecting certain regulated categories of products or services, such as foods, drugs, cosmetics, natural health products, tobacco products, automobiles, and financial services, among others.

Advice provided by advertising lawyers may be informed by other disciplines, such as corporate and commercial law, intellectual property law, administrative law and litigation, as lawyers practising in this area may be called upon to advise on contracts, the use of intellectual property (belonging to the advertiser or third parties) and regulatory investigations or proceedings or private actions for misleading advertising.

In the age of social media in particular, they also must be attuned to both the legal risks, and the reputational risks, associated with certain types of promotional campaigns.

A creative mindset and approach is important in this practice area, as advertising lawyers need to help their clients create and deliver advertising that respects the law while remaining compelling to consumers.