Promotional contests in Canada are largely governed by the federal Competition Act and Criminal Code, privacy legislation and contract 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 (which can be worse for promoters), 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” (or “official rules”), winner releases, a skill-testing question and a review of draft creative for advertising law compliance.
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) compliance for electronic promotions; 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; compliance with social media sites’ rules; and advice relating to Canada’s deceptive prize notice and telemarketing rules.
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