CMA’s new resource helps organizations prevent deceptive practices that erode consumer trust

Dec 05, 2023

The CMA Guide to Truthful Marketing addresses false advertising, current legislation and building consumer trust

TORONTO, December 5, 2023 – Today, the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) released the CMA Guide to Truthful Marketing: How to Prevent Deceptive Marketing, which provides essential information to marketers about understanding and avoiding misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices.

“Authentic and truthful marketing is critical to give consumers peace of mind, particularly during the holiday season when Canadians are weighing multiple gifting and entertaining decisions,” said Sara Clodman, chief public affairs and governance officer, CMA. “Our Guide to Truthful Marketing reinforces the fact that non-deceptive practices are fundamental for maintaining a positive brand reputation and fostering long-term relationships with valued customers in a competitive landscape.”

Advertising and marketing laws in Canada

The new guide is an invaluable tool for marketers as it identifies various laws that impact the way brands advertise and protect the public from deceptive marketing, such as the Competition Act or Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). The guide also provides several use cases and examples of untruthful representations and deceptive marketing practices to help illustrate how laws such as the Competition Act apply to Canadian marketing in the areas of:

  • Influencer marketing
  • Testimonials on social media
  • Online reviews
  • Drip pricing
  • Contests
  • Performance claims
  • Environmental and Green claims
  • Made in Canada claims

Creating compliant strategies

The new guide will help marketers design compliant strategies and campaigns from the outset and facilitate effective communication with legal and compliance teams. By providing examples of common marketing activities and how Canadian laws affect each activity, the guide will help organizations better understand how they can solidify a strong brand reputation and help foster consumer trust.

“In the dynamic world of business, our truthful marketing guide is the essential companion for organizations. Rooted in transparency, this guide not only safeguards reputations but also paves the way for enduring customer relationships,” said Clodman.

In addition to the Competition Act and CASL, other laws with provisions relating to deceptive representations include, but are not limited to, provincial Consumer Protection Acts, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and the Textile Labelling Act.

The CMA’s extensive  series of compliance and best practices guides provide insights and practical tips to help marketers better understand the laws and rules that they must follow in the work that they do every day. 

Other newly released guides include the CMA Quebec French Language Guide, with insights about the Charter of the French language and Bill 96, and the CMA Guide to iGaming Advertising and Marketing. Most guides are available to CMA members only.

The CMA also provides a Consumer Centre to help consumers better understand their rights and obligations in a wide range of areas.

About the Canadian Marketing Association

The CMA is the voice of marketing in Canada and our purpose is to champion marketing’s powerful impact. We are the catalyst to help Canada’s marketers thrive today, while building the marketing mindset and environment of tomorrow.

We provide opportunities for our members from coast to coast to develop professionally, to contribute to marketing thought leadership, to build strong networks, and to strengthen the regulatory climate for business success. Our Chartered Marketer (CM) designation signifies that recipients are highly qualified and up to date with best practices, as reflected in the Canadian Marketing Code of Ethics and Standards. We represent virtually all of Canada's major business sectors, and all marketing disciplines, channels and technologies. Our Consumer Centre helps Canadians better understand their rights and obligations. For more information, visit

Nathaniel Glassman
Kaiser & Partners




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