2003 Alcohol Clearance Bulletin

Effective August 2003

Ad Standards Interpretation Bulletin re Application of Clause (d) of the CRTC Code for Broadcast Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages (CRTC Code)

Based on queries from stakeholders and alcohol regulatory bodies, and informal consultation with CRTC staff, Ad Standards has developed the following clearance policy regarding the application of Clause (d) of the CRTC Code.

Code Clause (d) Provisions

Clause (d) of the CRTC Code provides that:
Commercial messages for alcoholic beverages shall not contain an endorsement of the product, personally or by implication, either directly or indirectly, by any person, character or group who is likely to be a role model for minors because of:

  • a past or present position of public trust;
  • special achievement in any field of endeavour;
  • association with charities and/or advocacy activities benefiting children;
  • reputation or exposure in the mass media.

CRTC Interpretation Guideline for Clause (d)

Once established as a role model for minors, a person will be considered to remain a role model for a period of ten years from the date of retirement from the activity.

Intent of Clause (d)

The intent of this clause is to ensure that persons, characters, or groups, well-known to minors do not use their special status (as role models) to influence minors to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages

Role Model Definition (for purposes of the CRTC Code)

A person, character, or group regarded as an inspiration or example (either in a positive or negative sense) by those under the legal drinking age.

Ad Standards Application of Clause (d)

The use of role models to endorse alcoholic beverages in broadcast advertising will be strictly limited based on the provisions of this clause. Generally, this will preclude the use of “celebrities” who would be known to minors.

Assessment Questions

The following questions will help determine whether or not a given person, character, or group will be evaluated by Ad Standards as a “role model for minors” for the purposes of Clause (d).
If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, the person, character, or group will not be approved by Ad Standards for use in broadcast advertising of alcoholic beverages under the provisions of CRTC Code Clause (d).

  • Is the person, character, or group generally well known to minors?
  • Has the person, character, or group achieved success in an area of endeavour – e.g. sports, entertainment, media etc.?
  • Is the person, character or group engaged in an occupation, pastime, or field of endeavour that has an appeal to or influence on minors?
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