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Report: Ad Standards 2019 Complaints and Disputes

Ad Standards has released its annual Ad Complaints and Disputes Report for 2019. The report provides an account of consumer complaints received and investigated by the organization for possible violations of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards last year. According to the report, the organization received 1,858 complaints about 1,142 ads. Of these, 700 were “considered” by its staff, 267 were found to have one or more issues contravening the code. Fifty ads were referred to the group’s council, while 37 ads were found to contravene the code.

Of the complaints administratively resolved in 2019, the main concerns related to promotional offers by retailers that omitted a required restriction or condition required, membership offers that did not include information about additional fees, ads that omitted information related to rebate offers or additional components sold separately, reward program offers that omitted terms needed to qualify, terms of an ad that were not applicable in certain provinces, and ads using unqualified claims such as “unlimited,” “only” or “without risk.” Other complaints concerned deceptive price claims or discounts, inflated regular prices and non-disclosure of regular prices.

Ad Standards is the self-regulatory body for Canada’s advertising industry.

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