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Mary G. Griffith’s Posts

The Influence of Underage Influencers

Like many people, I rely on my PVR to catch up on shows and frequently binge watch series that I have saved. So, while not totally current, I was particularly interested in a minor plot element of a recent episode of a popular hour-long legal drama. One of the main characters, a lawyer, was meeting with a client who had a new skin cream that was being blamed for causing an acne outbreak in a user and creating enough bad …

A New and Improved Advertiser Dispute Procedure by Ad Standards

Effective February 2019, Advertising Standards Canada (“Ad Standards”) has implemented a long awaited, improved Advertiser Dispute Procedure. For several years Ad Standards, the advertising community, and the lawyers advising them have been looking at approaches to improve the procedure. Many of us have been wanting to address ways of ensuring that the Adjudication Panel is able to make informed, independent decisions and to establish a body of precedent that will assist the industry in evaluating future advertising with regard to …

But my family would NEVER argue over my estate!

It had been my standard practice to advise clients who were preparing their Wills that, as long as they had a responsible, capable, spouse or child available to act as executor/trix (estate trustee), it was an inexpensive and preferable option to using a trust company, a professional or a third party.  This recommendation was always made with the proviso that the Will contain a clause allowing the estate trustee to engage professionals to assist (such as a lawyer to file …

Health Canada Believes Youth Need More Protection From Food Ads Than Sex, Cars Or Guns

Many of you know that in October of 2016 the Minister of Health launched a Healthy Eating Strategy for Canada.  As part of this strategy Health Canada is in the process of revising Canada’s Food Guide, likely a necessary thing as it has not been updated since 1992.  The government is also working on “restricting the commercial marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children.”  This blog will not discuss the government’s lack of adequate definition of “unhealthy”.  Rather my …

Buyer Beware! Some Conditions Really Shouldn’t be Waived

It is not news to anyone that the Toronto real estate market has been at a fever pitch it has never seen before.  Housing prices have sky rocketed, and properties have been routinely subject to heated bidding wars that result in sale prices far above the initial asking price (that, of course, leads to another topic which is why some agents seem to deliberately underprice properties in order to exacerbate this process, but that is a topic for another time).…

Shouldn’t Everyone Have the Same Rules?

Our managing partner recently wrote a blog about the disparity between the rules governing truth in advertising by advertisers, but the lack of rules governing truth in criticism of those advertisers published by third parties.

I would like to “second that emotion” as the song says (for those of old enough to remember). I recently watched a video on a NGO site vilifying advertisers who target children: specifically those who manufacture food and beverage products.  While this is a very …

Advertising – Can they really say that?! Advertising self-regulation in Canada – Part 6 and Final

In my penultimate blog (Advertising self-regulation part 5) in this series, I discussed the Appeal process of the Advertiser Dispute Procedure under Advertising Standards Canada (ASC).  In this final blog on ASC’s Advertiser Dispute Procedure I will review the enforcement, timing and cost issues related to filing complaints and suggest where this dispute procedure may fit among the options that are available to challenge advertising in Canada.


If the party with an offending advertisement does not comply …

Can they really say that?! Advertising self-regulation in Canada – Part 5

In my last blog (Advertising self-regulation Part 4) I discussed the Advertiser Dispute procedure under Advertising Standards Canada (ASC).  But what happens if you, as an advertiser, bring a complaint against one of your competitors and the Dispute Panel, after hearing the arguments on both sides, reaches a decision that you feel is clearly wrong?  What recourse do you have?


Either party to the Dispute Procedure can request leave to appeal on the basis that the Panel …

Advertising – Can they really say that?! Advertising self-regulation in Canada – Part 4

A responsible advertiser ensures that advertisements are compliant with the applicable legislation and, if they are in any of the five regulated categories (see my previous blog – Advertising – Can they really say that?! Part 2), that they have been pre-cleared if they will be aired on broadcast media.  But what do you do if your competition is advertising in a way that you feel is inappropriate in some way, and is in violation of one or more …

Advertising – Can they really say that?! Advertising self-regulation in Canada – Part 3

Although advertisements in five regulated categories (see my last blog) need to be pre-cleared before they can be aired in Canada, you may still see ads in non-broadcast media (such as print, internet or out-of-home), in other categories, or even in categories that have received preclearance, that you feel are not appropriate in some way. It is important to remember that pre-clearance of an ad is done against the relevant regulatory framework. This is not necessarily the same as what …


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