The “Issue” of Political Issue Advertising – A Rude Awakening for Canadian NGOs

As discussed at length with Elections Canada and the IAB Canada member base, the repercussions of the C-76 amendment to the Canada Elections Act has proven to be problematic at best to the digital advertising industry and in some cases catastrophic. IAB Canada members are beginning to report cases of full domain and advertising block-outs specifically in the NGO sector. These blockages cause staggering losses for non-profit and charitable organizations as they are virtually banned from using online advertising effectively during their busiest fundraising months.

IAB Canada partnered with the Canadian Press and developed a database solution that would help platforms and publishers identify issue ads as they arise during the campaign period. The database contains a 24hr daily update on campaign issues, keywords associated with the issues as well as domains that will likely be implicated.

While most Canadian publishers have subscribed to the IAB Canada database, we urge NGOs and agencies that represent them, to subscribe to the service in order to proactively manage expectations and to help develop strategic media work arounds during the election period.

We would also recommend reviewing the respective positions taken by various IAB Canada members on the matter of political ads as listed here for your reference. This is a valuable resource that can help navigate media planning during this time.

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