Frequently Asked Questions about Preclearance of Consumer Health Products Advertising


What services does Ad Standards provide?

Nonprescription Drugs and Natural Health Products

  • Review of advertising copy for radio, television, print and digital.

Direct to Consumer Advertising and Information (DTCA/I)

  • Provide advisory opinions on consumer-directed messages for prescription drugs (DTCA)
  • Provide advisory opinions on consumer-directed messages/materials discussing a medical condition or disease (DTCI)
  • Provide advisory opinions on consumer-directed messages for the recruitment of clinical trial patients(DTCI)


  • Consultation services for new product launches and advertising concepts for nonprescription drugs and natural health products
  • Consultation services for DTCA and DTCI

How will I know my copy has been approved?

Your approved submission will be faxed back to you with a nine-character or six-digit Ad Standards approval number. This number signifies to broadcasters that the copy has been approved.

How do I submit copy?

  • Step 1 Go to the Ad Standards e-Clearance login page
  • Step 2 Login or Create a new account
  • Step 3 Enter your submissions online. (For copies in languages other than English or French, please provide a translation.)

How long does it take to make an evaluation?

See rates for available service levels and turnaround time.

What criteria are used to clear copy?

  • Food and Drugs Act and Regulations
  • Health Canada Guidance Document: Consumer Advertising Guidelines for Marketed Health Products
  • Authorized product information (TPD approved product label, Product Monograph, Product License, Labelling Standard or Category IV Monograph)
  • Other relevant TPD Policies and Guidelines and ASC Clearance Policies

Who can I talk to about copy clearance?

To reach a member of the Clearance Services team, call 416-961-6311, ext. 3 or email

Do I need clearance by any other bodies?

Ad Standards Clearance Services reviews advertising in six regulated areas to ensure compliance with specific sectoral legislation, regulations, codes and guidelines. For television advertising, in addition to obtaining an Ad Standards Clearance number, prior to airing, commercials must be approved by thinktv to ensure their standards are met. Contact thinktv for complete details.

thinktv clearance provides commercial review services for its broadcaster members.

Scroll to top