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Can you say that to customers? A guide to marketing, advertising, and sales laws

With penalties ranging from hundreds to millions of dollars, you don’t want to be caught on the wrong side of these Canadian marketing laws.

Prospecting, leads and sales are the life-blood of all businesses. Whether you sell goods or services, your business depends on your customers’ ability to find you — and your ability to find them!

The type of clientele you wish to reach will determine your marketing, advertising and sales plan; however, you should be aware that whether you plan to reach them digitally, via telephone or in print, there are laws that you must follow, or risk facing stiff penalties and fines.

Marketing
  • Advertising must be truthful. Do you know what “false or misleading claims” means? Read the Advertising Dos and Don'ts.
  • Considering a contest to promote your products? Check out Promotion Contests before you launch your campaign.
  • Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL) affects companies promoting products and services by email, social media or instant messaging. Do you have consent to send your messages? Do your emails identify your business and include an unsubscribe mechanism? Read about your obligations under CASL.
    • CFIB has a partnership with Cyberimpact to help you promote your products and services by email while complying with CASL.
Labeling & measurement
Consumer protection
  • Customers must be treated fairly. Does your business have to comply with consumer protection laws? Consumer Information is a great place to begin. You can also search for information by province.
  • Do you manufacture, import, or sell products? Some goods are prohibited in Canada; others have specific requirements. Read about the Consumer Product Safety to ensure your goods are safe.
  • Considering business activities that could reduce competition? Some actions, such as dominant companies fixing prices, are prohibited. Learn more at Preventing abuse of market power.

Visit Canada Business Network's Marketing, advertising and sales regulations for more information, or call CFIB’s Counsellors to ensure that you are in compliance.