Canada Freezes Government Advertising

23 March 2004

Canada's government has frozen federal advertising activity while it brings in new procurement rules.

The government has imposed a moratorium on all new campaigns (excluding emergency advertising and essential public notices) until new regulations for overseeing its adspend come into force.

Authorities are introducing an Advertising Management Information System to monitor ad investment by government departments. The freeze will stay in place until these new regulations are implemented on June 1 and an agency of record is appointed.

The overhaul in procurement procedures follows accusations that the Liberal government misused sponsorship funds. An investigation found that up to C$100 million ($75m; €61m; £41m) from a C$250m campaign promoting Canadian unity ended up at Liberal-friendly agencies in Quebec [WAMN: 17-Feb-04].

In addition to the spending freeze, the government is reducing its $60m annual ad budget by 15% for three years.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff