Compliance is the bedrock of any successful marketing campaign and can reduce risk and improve brand loyalty. Find out more about how marketing compliance can help your business.
Correct marketing compliance can save Canadian companies money, help them to
better engage with their audience and improve brand loyalty. Here are a few reasons
compliance should be the cornerstone of every Canadian marketing campaign.
What is Marketing Compliance?
Simply put, marketing compliance ensures that all your content, marketing, and advertising adhere to the laws and regulations determined by legislation and Government agencies.
It is a system that monitors and checks a brand’s marketing output, from the written content on websites to emails, adverts, social media posts and SMS messages that can make up a coherent campaign. This includes content created or published by third parties such as affiliates and stakeholders.
To do so manually is both time-consuming and tedious, leading to a high possibility of human error.
However, computerised marketing compliance software can take care of all of that for you.
What are the Compliance Rules in Canada?
As in other countries, there are specific compliance rules for certain sectors.
For example, financial companies and their employees must adhere to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Some aspects of business that financial institutions need to carefully maintain marketing compliance include reporting on accounting standards, revenue, leases and insurance.
Companies dealing with climate change or political changes also have strict compliance guidelines to stick to, to avoid misleading information.
In Canada, advertising and marketing are governed by the Competition Act. Companies also have to ensure they do not fall foul of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (Code).
The Competition Act is enforced by the federal Competition Bureau and backed up by provincial consumer protection legislation, such as the Ontario Consumer Protection Act and British Columbia Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, across Canada’s various provinces and territories.
Although the rules may differ slightly by province, they usually centre around misleading advertising rules.
Canada also has one of the strictest anti-spam laws (CASL) in the world. The CASL came into force in 2014 and is simple to GDPR in the UK. It protects consumers by requiring consent for Canadians to be sent CEMs and to obtain and retain identification information.
Canada relies heavily on self-regulation, but there are industry-specific bodies to enforce the rules, such as the CRTC, which enforces the CASL.
What are the Consequences of Breaching Compliance Regulations?
All employees, affiliates, and stakeholders must comply with the established guidelines.
Companies found to have breached compliance rules and regulations may face long, expensive and disruptive investigations into your business as a whole, lawsuits, financial penalties, cease-and-desist orders and sometimes even imprisonment.
Fines can be up to 1 million CAD for individuals and 10 million CAD for companies.
Ensuring your marketing compliance meets not only Canadian, but international standards can increase your global reach and futureproof your business, anticipating international legislation changes before they occur.
The best way to do this is to use a system which can monitor all of your business’ marketing output across the world in real time and flag up anything that carries a risk.
Doing so can save you a significant amount of money in the long run, as well as time and disruption to your business. A coherent compliant campaign can also help to retain customers and increase brand loyalty as you will avoid negative associations that come with an investigation.