Ad industry self-regulatory group won't name and shame false government campaign - InfoNews

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Ad industry self-regulatory group won't name and shame false government campaign

January 24, 2014 - 12:47 PM

OTTAWA - The self-regulating industry watchdog that handles public complaints about advertising says it is not its job to name and shame governments that abuse public dollars.

Advertising Standards Canada refuses to confirm that it chided the federal Conservative government last year for a $2.5-million ad campaign that promoted a jobs-training grant that does not yet exist.

Janet Feasby of the ad council says if an advertiser agrees to pull an ad or change it after the public complains, the council does not identify the offending advertiser in any way.

Only leaks to media outlets revealed that Employment and Social Services Canada had been busted for the pricey Canada Jobs Grant campaign last spring.

That's prompted an expert in government communications to say a self-regulating industry umbrella group is not the way to police government advertising.

Political scientist Jonathan Rose of Queen's University says the misleading job-training ads are a good example of why there needs to be a non-partisan overseer of government advertising that reports directly to Parliament.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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