Advertising oversight mechanism

Advertising campaigns with budgets over $250,000 must undergo an external review. Departments may choose to submit campaigns with smaller budgets for review.

On this page

Non-partisan review process

Ads are reviewed against the advertising review criteria by Ad Standards, the not-for-profit organization that administers the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards.

Departments are responsible for ensuring that ads are reviewed internally before submitting them to Ad Standards.

In this section

Two-stage review approach

Ads are reviewed twice – at an early stage of production and before being made public. Departments must plan accordingly to preserve the integrity of the two-stage approach. However, the process is different depending on the cost or time required for production.

Ads with significant production costs or time

Ads that include filming, hired talent, studio time, focus testing, etc., need to be submitted in English or French for an initial review before incurring:

  • additional production costs to correct problems identified in the review
  • unforeseen delays in planning, production, publishing or broadcasting
  • avoidable costs, such as cancellation penalties from media outlets or paying for unused advertising space or time, etc.

Ads with low production costs and presented in their final form

An expedited review can be requested if the English and French ads are both submitted and the head of communications attests in the Advertising Management Information System (AdMIS) that they will not be modified. This allows the ads to automatically advance from the initial to the final review stage.

Requesting a review

To initiate a review, departments upload their campaign material in AdMIS.

Public complaints about partisanship in advertising

Submit a complaint about Government of Canada advertising that you feel is partisan.

Find information on past complaints and the review committee’s findings.

General questions or comments about government advertising that are not related to partisanship can be submitted to Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Page details

Date modified: