Promotional contests in Canada are largely governed by the federal Competition Act, Criminal Code and contract law. Other laws can also apply depending on the type of contest, including privacy, anti-spam or intellectual property law.

In addition, Quebec has a separate regulatory regime governing contests, which means that Quebec requirements should be complied with (or contest eligibility restricted to Canadian residents excluding Quebec).

Given that the improper operation of a promotional contest can result in civil or criminal liability, or lead to adverse publicity or negative goodwill, it is important to review proposed contests for Canadian legal compliance.

Operating contests in Canada typically includes the preparation of short rules (mandatory upfront statutory disclosure), long rules (full terms and conditions governing the promotion), winner releases, a skill-testing question and a review of draft creative for advertising law compliance before launch.

My contest law services include: advice in relation to the application of the Competition Act and Criminal Code to promotional contests; CASL (anti-spam law) where electronic marketing will be used; drafting short and long contest rules and statutory disclosure; reviewing promotional contest marketing and advertising materials; preparing winner release documentation; compliance with the misleading advertising provisions of the Competition Act; and compliance with social media sites’ terms of use.


Need contest rules and forms for a Canadian Contest? I offer a selection of Canadian contest rules and forms for common types of Canadian contests. For more information see: canadian contest forms.


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