Advertising is a communications function in the Government of Canada. As such, advertising is subject to the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity, the Directive on the Management of Communications, which includes Mandatory Procedures for Advertising, as well as the FIP Manual.

Overview of requirements for advertising

In the Government of Canada, “advertising” refers to any message conveyed in Canada or abroad and paid for by the government for placement in the media including but not limited to newspapers, television, radio, cinema, billboards and other out-of-home media, mobile devices, the Internet, and any other digital medium.

1. Technical specifications

All Government of Canada advertising must comply with Policy on Communications and Federal Identity requirements and be clearly identified with the official symbols. The requirements for advertising are found in the following technical specifications:

2. Responsibility

Deputy heads are responsible for overseeing the administration of the Government of Canada's corporate identity within their departments. Heads of communications are responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements in the Directive on the Management of Communications. This includes coordinating the use of the official symbols based on mandatory specifications for all fields of application.

3. Official symbols

The official symbols of the Government of Canada are used to identify advertising purchased and placed by the government to inform Canadians about their rights or responsibilities, about government policies, programs, services or initiatives, or about dangers or risks to public health, safety or the environment. Departments may only use symbols that have been approved by the Treasury Board for their advertising activities.

Departments that do not have an approved applied title use the Government of Canada signature until the required approvals have been received.

4. Other marks, symbols or graphic elements

Communications products often include creative designs and graphics. However, the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity requires Treasury Board approval in order to replace the department's official symbols or to add an additional identifying symbol to their corporate identity. This applies to all logos used to identify a department's programs, services, assets, products, and internal and external activities.

A logo is a graphic mark, emblem or symbol adopted by an individual or organization to aid or promote recognition. Logos can be purely graphic or can feature the name of the organization in a special typeface (e.g., logotype).

5. Official languages

The requirements for the order of official languages are detailed in T-125 - Official Languages in Signatures.

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