Marketing to Kids – An Industry Response to Health Canada and B-228

IAB Canada has been working with the Canadian Advertising Coalition to support a comprehensive industry response to the legislative development of banning food and beverage advertising to children.

As part of this concerted effort, IAB Canada has communicated the complexities of online advertising to Health Canada Officials. We have presented to Health Canada on two occasions to provide a detailed primer on how online advertising works and the many restrictions that prevent advertisers from targeting age-specific audiences. We explained the inference-based methods currently being implemented in the programmatic buying process and also how PIPEDA legislation limits advertisers’ ability to identify with certainty, whether a child is being served an impression or not. We also reviewed the dynamic nature of content that exists online and the challenges in broadly identifying content child-directed.

Health Canada has been receptive to our concerns but have requested substantive moves from industry indicating commitment to enable compliance. IAB Canada has committed to developing consensus around a proposed approach to show good faith despite our well documented concerns around the enforcement of B-228 as it pertains to digital advertising.

The IAB Canada Board of Directors and Stakeholder Group is currently reviewing a proposed concept. Once details are refined and consensus is formed, we will as we have promised, promptly bring forward our suggested framework to Health Canada.