René Bissonnette

René Bissonnette is a partner in Gowling WLG's Toronto office with distinctive expertise in matters at the interface of advertising, marketing and entertainment law. René is ranked in Chambers 2022 for Advertising & Marketing. He provides practical advice and cost-effective risk management solutions.

As part of his practice, René regularly advises clients on:

  • Executing promotional campaigns
  • Negotiating spokesperson, sponsorship, talent and co-promotion agreements
  • Dealing with talent union (e.g. ACTRA) matters
  • Responding to Ad Standards complaints
  • Creating influencer marketing and native advertising content
  • Producing and exploiting film, music and other creative properties
  • Advising clients on CASL and privacy matters
  • Reviewing consumer goods packaging and labelling
  • Developing website terms of use and social media policies
  • Structuring online consumer transactions and rewards programs

Fluent in English and French, René is a member of the Ad Standards Council, the co-editor of the Food, NHP & Cosmetic newsletter and a lecturer at Osgoode Hall Law School, Ryerson's Digital Media Zone and Schulich's School of Business.

Representative Work

René's clients include global advertising agencies, major consumer goods manufacturers, digital media startups and A-list talent. Some examples of his representative work include:

  • Advising on the production and monetization of a professional athlete social media platform
  • Structuring cannabis promotional campaigns involving celebrity entrepreneurs
  • Developing multi-year brand spokesperson relationships for leading Canadian brands
  • On-boarding Canadian Olympic athletes for domestic and international Tokyo 2020 campaigns
  • Advising on the development and production of a branded documentary for screening at international film festivals