Enter To Win

Canadian Contest Law

Contests in Canada are largely governed by the federal Competition Act and Criminal Code, privacy legislation and contract law.  Intellectual property laws (i.e., trade-mark, copyright law, etc.) can also apply when promoters wish to use third party materials, photos, trade-marks, content, etc.  In addition, Quebec has a separate regulatory regime governing contests, which means that contests should be vetted for Quebec compliance if open to residents of Quebec.

Given that the improper operation of a contest can lead to civil or criminal liability or adverse publicity or negative goodwill (which can in some cases be worse for promoters), it is important to review contests and other promotions for Canadian legal compliance.

Legal review of contests in Canada typically includes the preparation of “short rules” (up-front disclosure required by law), “long rules” (or “official rules”), winner release forms, skill-testing question and review of draft creative materials for misleading advertising law compliance.  Of course, the legal requirements for a contest can vary, as no two promotions are the same.


I offer a full range of contest law services for companies, individuals and agencies.

My services include advice in relation to the application of the Competition Act and Criminal Code to contests, short and long contest rules and statutory disclosure, promotional contest marketing and advertising materials, winner releases, application of the misleading advertising provisions of the Competition Act, the Competition Act’s deceptive prize notice and telemarketing rules and compliance with social media sites’ terms of use.  For more information see: services.


Canadian Contest Forms and Checklists

Based on increased demand for efficient and affordable Canadian contest law rules, in addition to my contest law services I am now offering Canadian contest forms for the operation of random draw and skill contests in Canada (excluding Quebec).  See: here.

New Free Podcast:
“Is Your Social Media Contest Breaking the Law?”

TopDog Social Media and I have posted a new social media contest podcast entitled: Is Your Social Media Contest Breaking the Law.  Some of the topics discussed in this new podcast include:

The 5 most common illegal contest mistakes by businesses running contests online and over social media; Apple’s restrictions on giving away iPads & iPhones; one mistake that cost a business $170,000 in fines; two major components to ensuring your social media contest is legal; the basic rules you legally need to include in any contest; some of the legalities surrounding the use of third party materials; a few ways to tell if your advertising may be false or misleading; what you can and can’t legally use information for that you collect in a contest; social networks with the most and least strict policies for contests; some of YouTube’s quirky rule about using entrant information; some of what Facebook expects you to say when you run a contest; how Quebec’s strict rules could provide an opportunity for businesses; and thinking about whether your social media contest is an “illegal lottery”.