Automobile Advertising

July 12th, 2014 | ,


To ensure a self-regulatory advertising standards system for automobile marketers was protected.

The Issue

In 2007 a Quebec-government formed road safety task force recommended a review of automobile advertising. The government consequently gave direction to Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) to “establish guidelines aimed at prohibiting any advertisement that portrays a road vehicle and conveys a careless attitude with respect to road safety…”

A national self-regulatory system was already established and overseen by Advertising Standards Canada (ASC).

Quebec’s legislative approach would force marketers to operate under two systems in Canada. In addition, the move might trigger other provinces or territories to follow suit, thereby creating a patchwork of regulations across the country. Clearly, a single self-regulatory program was desirable.


ACA contacted the Quebec government, proposing a national approach drawing direction from ASC’s Canadian Code of Advertising Standards. Following our intervention, a national working group on automobile advertising – comprised of government, automakers and ad representatives was formed.


After numerous industry meetings, including a presentation to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, which endorsed our endeavour, guidelines and a Memorandum of Understanding were developed. Automotive manufacturers committed to a national voluntary set of ad standards built on the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards model.

The strategy received formal support from the Council of Deputy Ministers and the Memorandum of Understanding was signed in May 2009. The ASC agreed to administer these commitments.

For more information on this issue, contact Ron Lund, President & CEO, at 416-964-3805 ext. 1001 / 1-800-565-0109.