December 2 2016

Updated consumer advertising guidelines for health products

Jeansonne Andrée-Anne

Advertising Standards Canada (”ASC”), in consultation with Health Canada, is currently updating the Consumer Advertising Guidelines for Marketed Health Products (“Guidelines”).

These Guidelines are designed to help advertisers and advertising agencies create ads that comply with the legal framework applicable to consumer-directed advertising of over-the-counter drugs and natural health products. The first objective of these updated Guidelines is to extend their scope to encompass consumer-directed advertising for vaccines and medical devices.

The draft Guidelines also includes other changes. For example, clarifications were added with regard to testimonials and endorsements. This is in line with the recent amendments made to the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards . The draft Guidelines  also establish new criteria with regard to risk and safety disclosure for health products.

The Draft 2016 Consumer Advertising Guidelines for Marketed Health Products is available here. ASC gathered comments from industry stakeholders and the consultation period ended November 22, 2016. We will keep you informed of future developments.

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