ASC to launch ‘truth’ campaign

Six new members have been appointed to Advertising Standards Canada, including J. Eric Glass of Procter & Gamble and Breydon MacDonald of CHUM Radio, as the industry regulator readies a new campaign promoting its services.

Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), a Toronto-based industry regulator, released its 2010 annual report and list of new members yesterday. ASC is also getting ready to roll out a multi-platform PSA campaign called ‘Truth in Advertising Matters,’ developed by Cossette, with media handled in-house.

‘We want the Canadian consumer to know that there is somebody, there is an organization there [to ensure] that the advertising they see, read or listen to, meets a standard of honesty and truth,’ Randy Otto, chair of ASC and president of Pattison Outdoor Advertising, tells MiC.

Complaints to the ASC increased last year by 9.7%, and this rise might indicate that consumers believe their voice will be heard when they come to the ASC with their concerns, says new board of directors member Breydon MacDonald, general manager, CHUM Radio/CTVglobemedia.

‘Advertising is our bread and butter and it’s important that we convey the message that what you see and hear on any medium is trustworthy,’ MacDonald tells MiC. ‘I was pleased to see that radio had one of the lowest complaint levels among all media reporting,’ he adds.

The main areas of consumer complaints last year were accuracy and clarity, price claims and safety, which MacDonald says indicates where the focus for advertisers and media should be with respect to improvement.

‘I know in the past that issues around advertising to children were front and centre but hopefully we’ve helped answer those concerns, as they don’t seem to be what’s driving the complaints,’ he says.

Other new board members are William Chambers, VP, brand communications and corporate affairs at CBC; J. Eric Glass, general counsel and secretary of Procter & Gamble; Kevin Skinner, VP and general manager, consumer care at Bayer; Anne-Marie LaBerge, VP, brand and marketing communications at Telus; and Natalie Larivière, president, Transcontinental Media.