Changes to health product advertising guidance

27 October 2016

Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), in consultation with Health Canada, has published  Draft 2016 Consumer Advertising Guidelines for Marketed Health Products  (the Guidelines). The 2006 version of the Guidelines is being expanded to include guidance for consumer-directed advertising of vaccines and medical devices.

The 2016 draft also reorganizes the content from the 2006 Guidelines into a more concise version. By using fewer examples and combining some of the Guidelines under a single category, the document is now significantly shorter. 

Aside from the additions related to vaccines and medical devices, some notable updates include:

  • new requirements for “allergen” and “salt and sodium” claims,
  • additional discussion on aspartame and artificial sweetener,
  • more detailed testimonial/endorsement requirements, and
  • detailed technical requirements for safety information (e.g. for video supers, duration and manner of displaying text).

A PDF version of the Draft 2016 Consumer Advertising Guidelines for Marketed Health Products document is available here. ASC and Health Canada are accepting comments on the draft until November 21, 2016. Comments can be sent by email to guidelines@adstandards.com using the feedback form (available here).

With assistance from Houtan Mashinch.


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