Changing Ad Standards in Canada

By: Rebecca Lewis

The influencer landscape is constantly changing, with new tools and practices emerging each day. MSL Canada is a proud member of Ad Standards Canada’s Influencer Steering Committee, alongside other industry professionals across the country.

The Influencer Steering Committee convenes to create ad guidelines and identify best practices for engaging with sponsored influencer content now and in future. Implementing these guidelines help protect us as an agency, and more importantly helps protect our clients and influencer partners. Here are some of the most important guidelines that all brands and marketers should implement immediately:

1. Use standardized terms

Standardized and accepted disclosure terms include #ad and #sponsored. Influencers should use at least one of these hashtags on all sponsored content, so their followers can easily recognize that the content is the result of a brand partnership.

2. Upfront is best

Sponsorship disclosures provide transparency and honesty for viewers. It helps the viewer identify whether or not they are looking at an advertisement, so they do not feel misled. Ensuring that the disclosure is at the beginning of a video, or ‘above the fold’ in a social media caption, helps to ensure it is not missed.

3. When in doubt, spell it out

Guidelines are not intended to be prescriptive. The influencer landscape is constantly changing, so use your best judgement and always apply disclosures if you’re unsure about the current policy.

Ad Standards in Canada are under frequent review, and are always changing, so use your best judgement and do your due diligence whenever working with influencers.

More information about Ad Standards Canada and these guidelines is available here. Want to learn more about how MSL works with influencers for brand partnerships? Get in touch!

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