Our Commitment to Confidentiality

Advertising Standards Canada (“Ad Standards”) is Canada’s national, self-regulatory organization for the advertising industry. Our confidential preclearance service is a fee-based, objective and independent advertising copy review and advisory service.

All advertising and information we receive from a submitter is confidential, and we take this commitment very seriously. As a condition of employment, all Ad Standards employees agree to use confidential information only in the performance of their duties, and that they will not reveal confidential information to any internal or external parties for whom the information is not intended. Confidential information is restricted to members of our staff who are directly involved with the relevant issue and assessment.

We will not share the details of a submission or related feedback with anyone other than the submitter unless authorized or required to do so. If requested by an advertiser, we may provide information about the status of our assessment of material submitted on its behalf by an agency or media partner. We may also confirm or clarify the status of our assessment for carrying media to help ensure that the advertising or information piece can reach its intended audience in a timely manner. We do not discuss the details of the submission, or the reasons for our assessment, with any party without authorization to do so.

If we were ever compelled by law or a court order, we would be required (like any person or organization) to disclose information relevant to the investigation or enforcement in question. Only in these limited cases would we ever share details about a submission beyond what is publicly available, and then only the specific information necessary to meet the scope of our obligation to disclose.

For decades, advertisers have put their trust in Ad Standards for unbiased and independent review of their advertising. In this, and other ways, Ad Standards has been building trust between consumers and advertisers for over 60 years.

If you have additional questions about our commitment to confidentiality, please reach out to Jean Larivière, Director, Clearance Services & Customer Service Manager.

A note about health product submissions

In our role as an advertising preclearance agency, recognized by Health Canada in the health products sector, we are required by Health Canada to disclose limited confidential information to the regulator as part of our process. For example, we may be asked by Health Canada whether or not we precleared a particular ad and the basis of our decision. As part of our roles and responsibilities, we are also required to submit copies of the final DTC-reviewed copy to Health Canada in the case of all prescription drug and vaccine advertising/information messages.

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