OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

Businesses promoting their products and services must run the gauntlet of Canada's regulatory scheme. Both marketing and advertising are subject to federal and provincial legislation in Canada, making compliance especially difficult. Clients across industries retain Blakes because of our legal expertise, business acumen and creativity in resolving a wide range of advertising and marketing business, transactional and regulatory issues.

Our lawyers work closely with clients in all types of industries, including multinational consumer and other product manufacturers, retailers, and advertising agencies. We represent leading businesses in heavily regulated industries, such as the food, drug (prescription and non-prescription), medical device, cosmetic, natural health product, electrical product and financial industries, successfully resolving their challenges. We regularly review compliance with federal and provincial statutes, including those specific to certain products and industries.

We have extensive experience in dealing with Canadian regulatory and self-regulatory bodies to ensure compliance with not only laws, but also applicable policies, industry codes and guidelines. Clients often seek our guidance with respect to interpretation of and compliance with legislation, administrative and policy matters, and we interact with various government and other agencies, including the Competition Bureau, Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Advertising Standards Canada. We also assist clients in bringing and defending complaints before regulators and industry associations as well as in court.

Blakes lawyers draft agreements of all kinds related to product marketing and promotional matters. We also advise on privacy matters, consumer protection, labelling, product claims, product safety, recalls, product composition reviews, intellectual property protection and emerging areas such as Canada’s new anti-spam legislation.

Our lawyers are among the most experienced in Canada in the area of misleading advertising. Often consulted for advice in the early stages of developing an advertising campaign, we also review material as the final step before advertising is placed. Many of Canada’s leading businesses, marketers, advertising agencies, and foreign companies offering products or services in Canada retain us to assist them with structuring promotions, sweepstakes, contests, offers (e.g., mail-in rebates, coupons), advertising campaigns and public relations activities.

We have been involved in numerous prosecutions involving the misleading advertising provisions of the Competition Act provisions and have extensive experience negotiating resolutions with the Competition Bureau. Our lawyers are also at the forefront of developments in the field of comparative advertising and have acted as counsel in many of the leading comparative advertising cases.

As an added value, we alert clients to emerging issues through regular newsletters, specialized publications and client seminars. We also maintain a dedicated anti-spam microsite containing resources to help businesses achieve regulatory compliance.


Representative Matters

Some of our recent representations and representative matters include acting for:

  • A major multinational food manufacturer in a successful re-launch of most of its food products, including comparative claims on label, in print, on television and online to promote newly reformulated products, which included negotiation with Advertising Standards Canada in terms of pre-clearing broadcast ads.
  • Various food, beverage, consumer goods, and health and beauty companies in successfully prosecuting and defending consumer and trade complaints before Advertising Standards Canada.
  • Various companies clearing broadcast advertising through Advertising Standards Canada.
  • A cosmetic and consumer product manufacturer with its marketing and advertising activities, including print and online advertisements, sponsorship agreements and contests.
  • A national loyalty program on a new, innovative advertising concept.
  • Multinational organizations on all aspects of French language requirements in Quebec.
  • A multinational company launching a direct-to-consumer website.
  • A manufacturer and importer to implement a North America-wide product recall of a consumer electrical product.

While we cannot mention matters that we have acted on for confidentiality reasons, a sample of comparative advertising cases in the courts that Blakes has acted on include:

  • Bell Aliant on a successful injunction proceeding against Rogers involving comparative advertising claims.
  • Beatrice Foods Inc. in seeking an injunction to stop the defendant from making certain statements in its advertising campaign (Beatrice Foods Inc. v. Ault Foods Ltd.).
  • Church & Dwight in seeking an injunction to stop advertising by the defendant (Church & Dwight Ltd. v. Sifto Canada Inc.).
  • Forzani Group in defending claims of improper ordinary price advertising under the Competition Act and negotiating a consent agreement with the Commissioner of Competition.
 

 INDUSTRY RECOGNITION

 

Members of the Blakes Marketing & Health Regulatory team are recognized as leaders in the following publications: 

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada Advertising & Marketing
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory Advertising & Marketing
  • Who's Who Legal: Life Sciences
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada  Life Sciences
  • LMG Life Sciences
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada Advertising & Marketing
 
 
 

 PEOPLE

 
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Consultant | Al-Khobar
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050 x9337
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Middle East, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Employment & Labour
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4031
Areas of Expertise: Anti-spam, Drugs & Medical Devices, IP Licensing & Agreements, Information Technology, Privacy, Life Sciences, Retail & Consumer Products, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Cybersecurity
Counsel | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4017
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Residential Mortgage Business, Payment Cards & Technologies, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Banking, Insurance, Reinsurance, Lobbying, Financial Services, Fintech
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2352
Areas of Expertise: Abuse of Dominance & Reviewable Matters, Cartels & Criminal Investigations, Competition Litigation, Competition Law Compliance, Misleading Advertising, India, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Competition & Antitrust, Foreign Investment, E-Discovery/SIRs, Merger Review & Control, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Cybersecurity, Enterprise Risk & Crisis Response, Government & Public Sector
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2794
Areas of Expertise: Marketing & Health Regulatory, Privacy, Intellectual Property
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5020
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Life Sciences, Information Technology, Intellectual Property, Mergers & Acquisitions, IP Licensing & Agreements, Anti-spam
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3283
Areas of Expertise: Competition & Antitrust, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Life Sciences, Class Actions, Foreign Investment, Competition Litigation, Abuse of Dominance & Reviewable Matters, Cartels & Criminal Investigations, Competition Law Compliance, Merger Review & Control, Misleading Advertising, E-Discovery/SIRs
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2541
Areas of Expertise: Marketing & Health Regulatory, Privacy, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Life Sciences, Intellectual Property, Anti-spam, Drugs & Medical Devices, Retail & Consumer Products
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3082
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Product Liability, Life Sciences, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Retail & Consumer Products, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4265
Areas of Expertise: Intellectual Property, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Life Sciences, Privacy
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3047
Areas of Expertise: Product Liability, Aboriginal Law, Class Actions, Drugs & Medical Devices, Mining Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Procurement
Senior Counsel | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2556
Areas of Expertise: Anti-spam, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Privacy, Intellectual Property, Life Sciences, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech), Drugs & Medical Devices
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3161
Areas of Expertise: Intellectual Property, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Life Sciences, Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Cybersecurity
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3067
Areas of Expertise: Marketing & Health Regulatory, Intellectual Property, Life Sciences, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech), Privacy, Drugs & Medical Devices, Anti-spam, Cybersecurity
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2765
Areas of Expertise: Drugs & Medical Devices, Anti-spam, Trade-marks, Life Sciences, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Retail & Consumer Products, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Misleading Advertising
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