Advertising & Product Regulatory


Bringing new products and services to market requires innovation and creativity, coupled with a deep understanding of the regulatory environment in which they are to be designed, marketed and sold.

Gowling WLG offers combined experience in advertising and product regulation to help you succeed throughout the lifecycle of designing, launching, marketing and protecting your products.

We understand that great advertising requires keen insight and unbridled creativity. It also calls for an equally insightful and creative team of legal professionals who can ensure your campaigns meet industry and legal requirements, while preserving the integrity and inspiration of your ideas.

From product licensing to the review of advertising copy to representation in trade disputes, Gowling WLG's team of knowledgeable, industry-savvy professionals provides its clients with considerable hands-on experience and a flexible, effective approach to solving their issues.

Product regulation calls for a detailed knowledge of the product and the market as well as of the law, and a legal team that knows how to help you navigate effectively through the your dealings with a wide range of regulatory bodies. It requires lawyers who are not just experts in their fields, but bring a commercial and problem-solving approach to regulatory issues. Meanwhile, the rise of digital media, including social media, means you also need lawyers who understand the latest technology and channels and are able to apply existing laws to new ways of advertising.

Gowling WLG is at the forefront of these issues. We understand advertising and what you're trying to achieve. Our goal at all times is to help you market and sell your goods and services while remaining within the law.

Our clients work in industries ranging from packaged goods to automotive and from retail to telecommunications. We're frequently asked to facilitate national product launches and advertising and packaging integration for companies seeking to enter - or introduce new products and services into - the UK, European, Canadian or Middle Eastern marketplaces.

We assist in all matters relating to advertising, marketing and product regulation, including:

  • Advertising disputes
  • Advertising reviews
  • Agency, media buying and advertising services agreements
  • Ambush marketing
  • Branded content
  • CE marking, certification and accreditation for EU markets
  • Children's advertising
  • Co-promotion and celebrity endorsement agreements
  • Comparative advertising and claims support advice
  • Consumer complaints and competitor disputes
  • Consumer protection laws
  • Contests and promotions
  • Digital media, including apps, ad blocking, ad placement, viewability and click fraud, bloggers and vloggers, native advertising, behavioural targeting and analytics, affiliate marketing and live video streaming
  • Multi-level marketing and direct sales, including compliance and licensing
  • Distribution, manufacturing, and quality assurance agreements e-commerce
  • Environmental claims
  • Food reviews and regulatory approvals, including health and nutrition claims
  • Free movement of goods and services
  • International advertising, music and other copyright licences
  • Packaging and labelling
  • Pharmaceutical and medical device licensing
  • Price, sale and discount claims
  • Privacy, data protection and direct marketing/anti-spam
  • Product licensing
  • Recall and enforcement management
  • Social media
  • Sponsorship and events
  • Talent agreements
  • Trademarks and copyright

Recognised by the world's most respected legal directories for our leadership and expertise, we keep on top of legal trends by contributing our insights to a variety of publications and speaking at numerous conferences and events around the world.

Knowledgeable, practical and market-focused: Gowling WLG has the creativity and commercial and regulatory insight to help you prosper. To learn more about how we can help you, please contact any member of our team.

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Great advertising takes keen insight and unbridled creativity. It also calls for an equally creative and insightful team of legal professionals who can ensure your campaigns meet industry and legal requirements, while still preserving the integrity and creativity of your ideas.

There's a reason Gowling WLG is the law firm of choice for so many leading advertising agencies, media outlets, publishing houses and Fortune 500 companies across the country: we're just as committed to raising the bar in our industry as you are in yours. Our team combines exceptional industry insight with unparalleled skill to deliver a full range of effective, innovative client solutions.

Comprehensive advice

From product licensing to the review of advertising copy to representation in trade disputes, we provide our clients with considerable hands-on experience and a flexible and effective approach to solving their unique issues.

Our team of knowledgeable and industry-savvy legal professionals works closely with you to understand your objectives, identify specific risks and create customized, effective solutions while respecting and enabling your creative process.

Legal guidance at the forefront of your industry

Social media, mobile marketing, anti-spam law compliance, privacy standards, consumer-generated content - these are just some of the rapidly-evolving areas where our professionals can help you stay ahead of the curve.

Full-service support

As part of an international, sector-focused law firm, the Gowling WLG Advertising & Product Regulatory Group is frequently sought after to facilitate national product launches and North American advertising and packaging integration for foreign or U.S. companies seeking to enter the Canadian marketplace.

A global perspective

Gowling WLG is the sole Canadian member of AdLaw International, a global network of law firms that focuses on advertising and marketing law. This gives you seamless access to international professionals and sophisticated legal advice in markets around the world.

Proven experience

Our professionals are regularly featured as keynote speakers in conferences around the world, and are the authors of the leading Canadian textbook, Advertising and Marketing Law in Canada, published by LexisNexis, and co-authors of Canadian Advertising and Marketing Law, published by Carswell.

The group also shares its exceptional insights and relevant highlights of recent Canadian legal decisions, policies and legislation through AdBytes, our e-newsletter (subscribe to our publications).

A top-ranked team

Year over year, our professionals are recognized as leaders in the field by publications such as Chambers Global, The Best Lawyers in Canada, the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, and the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada.

Innovative solutions

Contest Creator by Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP is an automated application that helps users to create a set of contest rules for contests run in Canada. The tool guides users through an interactive online questionnaire that helps streamline the legal review process and generates contest rules for downloading or printing.  Contest Creator incorporates our expertise in Canadian contest laws and best practices honed from years of experience, within a user-friendly platform designed for brand teams.

Please contact for more information.

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To learn more about how we can help you succeed, please contact any member of our team.


We live in a world of increasingly stringent product regulatory requirements enforced through criminal, administrative and unfair competition proceedings. Ensuring your activities remain legal is a constant challenge - particularly on a global basis, where politics can interfere with consumer protection laws.

Gowling WLG can help. What sets us apart as a law firm is our ability to serve as commercial strategists who are able to consider the political, legal and scientific issues that are impacting your business. We tailor our legal advice to suit your needs, taking into account national peculiarities and non-harmonisation in the EU product regulatory and marketing rules.

We can help you make the best of a complex world – using loopholes and regulations subject to interpretation and the principle of free movement to achieve more positive results in EU product marketing.

Areas we cover include:

  • Administrative proceedings
  • Criminal law
  • Documentation of conformity
  • Food and beverage
  • Life sciences
  • Medical devices
  • Product recalls
  • Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals regulations (REACH)
  • Tobacco
  • Unfair competition

Our expertise helps you identify the most appropriate and convenient group for a specific new product, enabling you to achieve a maximum return on investment while avoiding regulatory pitfalls. Thanks to our long-standing industry expertise and recognised know-how - not just in the field of law, but also in biochemistry - you can trust our advice to always be sound, diligent and business-driven.

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Responsive, approachable, flexible and cost effective: this the service you need to deal with the big issues you face. We're ready for your call.


Great advertising needs a different type of legal advice. When you are working in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region you often face unknown laws and uncertain markets, together with cultural differences from other international markets. Our United Arab Emirates (UAE) based team can help you to be disruptive - pushing boundaries whilst respecting local culture, they will support you in identifying and managing the risk. Grounded in the digital age, the team understands you need solutions and immediate assistance or the moment might be gone.

That's exactly what Gowling WLG can offer in the UAE and wider MENA region. Our lawyers combine local and international expertise with creativity and keen insight to ensure that your campaigns are both legal and effective.

From product licensing, to the review of advertising copy, to social media strategies, to advice regarding marketing competitions, we provide you with considerable hands-on experience and a flexible and effective approach to solving your unique issues.

Our experience includes:

  • Advising on a regional disruptive campaign for an international sportswear company, the aim of which was to challenge certain local cultural viewpoints
  • Advising automotive companies on advertising campaigns and advertising claims for the UAE
  • Advising a US dietary supplement company in relation to product registration and labelling requirements in the UAE
  • Advising an fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company on social media campaigns and competitions for deployment in the UAE and wider Gulf region
  • Advising a European pharma company on a distribution strategy for its products in a number of MENA countries which included regulatory advice relating to medical devices, pharmaceutical products, dietary supplements and cosmetics.
  • Advising many companies in relation to taking action against parallel imports to the UAE and wider Gulf, through use of regulatory based challenges

Our team assists advertising agencies, media outlets, publishing houses, law firms and big brands in relation to advertising and product regulatory matters. Our team combines exceptional industry insight with unparalleled expertise to deliver a full range of effective, innovative client solutions.

Find out more

We're looking forward to helping you make the most of the opportunities in relation to your advertising and promotional campaigns and for distributing your products in the UAE and wider MENA region.


Great advertising needs a different type of legal advice. Our advertising team can help you to be disruptive - while you push boundaries, they will support you in managing the risk. Grounded in the digital age, the team understands you need solutions and immediate assistance or the moment might be gone.

Advertising law has changed. Native ads, vlogger campaigns, the Internet of Things - they all require new thinking on legal risk. Real-time marketing demands real-time lawyering. Client agency contracts need to account for new issues, from viewability and ad fraud to the moderation of social media. Publishers are looking to combat ad blocking. Sponsors demand app and data rights as a matter of course.

But other things haven't changed. Creative teams still want contracts to be sorted with the minimum of fuss so that they can get on with producing the work. Your competitors need to be kept in check. Regulatory issues need to be resolved before they damage your brand. And no-one wants over-cautious legal input to obscure the message.

For advice that works, however new the platform and however creative the concept, please get in touch with Dan Smith, head of our UK advertising law team.


If it touches advertising or marketing, we advise on it. Our experience includes:

  • Offering 'hotline' support to brand owners and agencies, providing advice and clearance for claims, copy, campaigns and promotions, where necessary with an immediate turnaround. Years of working in this way with household names such as Unilever, Volkswagen Group, Birds Eye Iglo and Superdrug means we understand what marketing teams and their in-house colleagues need from their legal advisors when it comes to advertising reviews.
  • Working on the highest profile event and sponsorship deals and activations, including the Olympic Games, Premier League and Serie A football teams, the FA, the Football League, major new stadia, cricket, golf, motor racing, television and music festival properties and Santander Cycles - one of London's most visible sponsorship properties. Specialising in ambush marketing advice over numerous Olympic and World Cup cycles.
  • Providing creative solutions to enable brands and agencies to maximise the benefits of everything from native advertising and influencer campaigns to real-time marketing in social media. Training marketing teams in compliance in digital media and elsewhere and providing strategic direction to smooth the clearance process and deliver more compliant materials, earlier and at less cost.
  • Helping clients to preserve market share, with timely and effective challenges to competitor advertising, before the ASA, in the courts or through the client's own marketing. We have advised on some of Europe's biggest comparative advertising cases (including Kingspan v Rockwool) but we also help clients to successfully dispose of many disputes before they escalate.
  • Advising on global, pan-European and local contracts for creative and advertising services, media buying and advertising technology.
  • Advising and co-ordinating advice from our overseas offices and partner firms on international campaigns and contracts. With team members in Germany, France and Canada and a network of specialist contacts elsewhere, we are well placed to advise global brands and agency networks.
  • Embedding a series of junior lawyers into a global brand owner's advertising and marketing team over the course of many years, giving us a pool of resource trained 'on the ground' in industry and able to provide cost-effective support to our clients.

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