Media Bulletin - Advertising Requirements

    TORONTO, Feb. 5 /CNW/ - Ontario's Chief Electoral Officer, Greg Essensa,
is reminding advertisers and advertising departments that the law imposes
blackout periods on political advertising at different times during an
election period.
    The Chief Electoral Officer also reminds advertisers that specific rules
are in effect for third party advertising.
    For the March 5 by-election in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock there will
be a blackout on political advertising from February 4 to 10, 2009 and on the
day before Election Day, March 4, 2009 and on Election Day, March 5, 2009.
    Third party election advertising is political advertising in any medium
that promotes or opposes a political party or the election of a candidate
during the campaign period of an election. Third party advertising is also
subject to the blackout period required by law.
    A person or entity engaging in third party election advertising and
spending $500 or more must register with the Chief Electoral Officer, display
authorization on all election period advertising and subsequently file a
report that discloses all advertising spending and the identity of
contributors who donated more than $100.
    A list of all registered Third Party Advertisers will be available on the
Elections Ontario web site
    More information on the advertising guidelines, including some important
exceptions to the blackout requirements, can be found at

    Elections Ontario is the non-partisan agency responsible for
administering provincial elections, by-elections and referenda.

    Disponible en français

    Quick Reference Guide
    Political Advertising
    February 2009

    Important information for all advertising departments


    Electors in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock will be voting in a
provincial by-election scheduled for March 5, 2009.
    Advertising outlets in broadcast, publishing and other mediums must meet
certain legal obligations when conducting business. The Election Finances Act
also has rules governing advertising by or on behalf of candidates,
constituency associations, political parties and third parties during
    More detail is provided in Guideline G23 (found in the media section on
    Below is a summary of the most important points for political


    For this by-election, the Election Finances Act imposes a blackout period
on political advertising from February 4 to 10, 2009 and on the day before
polling day (March 4, 2009) and on polling day itself (March 5, 2009).
    The prohibition against the publication of political advertisements does
not apply to:

    -   genuine news reporting
    -   the publication of advertising, on polling day or the day before
        polling day, in a newspaper that is published once a week or less
        often and whose regular day of publication falls on that day
    -   an advertisement on the Internet or in a similar electronic medium,
        if posted before and not altered during a blackout period
    -   an advertisement in the form of a poster or billboard, if posted
        before and not altered during a blackout period

    A blackout period restriction does not apply to:

    -   advertising of public meetings in constituencies
    -   announcing the location of candidate, constituency offices
    -   advertising for volunteer campaign workers
    -   announcing services for electors by candidates or constituency
        associations respecting enumeration and revision of lists of electors
    -   announcing services for electors on polling day
    -   any other matter respecting administrative functions of constituency

    The above is based on the provision that such advertisements,
announcements and other matters are done in accordance with the guidelines of
the Chief Electoral Officer found on


    During a campaign, no person or corporation shall charge a registered
party, constituency association, candidate or third party or any person,
corporation or trade union acting with the party's, association's,
candidate's, or third party's consent, a rate for making political advertising
available in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that exceeds the
lowest rate the person or corporation charges anyone else for the same amount
of equivalent advertising space or time during that period.


    All political printed advertising, handbills, placards, posters and
broadcast or telecast advertisements shall bear or make reference to the name
of the registered party, constituency association, third party, or person,
corporation or trade union authorizing the political advertising. This

    1.  The name of the person, corporation, trade union, registered party,
        registered constituency association, registered third party that is
        causing the political advertisement to appear.

    2.  The name, business address and telephone number of the individual who
        deals with the broadcaster or publisher on behalf of the person or
        entity mentioned in paragraph 1.

    3.  The name of any other person, corporation, trade union, registered
        party, constituency association or third party that is sponsoring or
        paying for the political advertisement.

    The broadcaster or publisher of a political advertisement shall maintain
records for a period of two years after the date the political advertisement
appeared and shall permit the public to inspect the records during normal
office hours. A record maintained shall contain the following:

    -   the information required in paragraphs 1., 2. and 3. (above)
    -   a copy of the political advertisement, or the means of reproducing it
        for inspection
    -   a statement of the charge made for its appearance

    A political advertisement in any medium shall name:

    -   the person, corporation, trade union, registered party, constituency
        association or third party that is causing it to appear; and
    -   any other person, corporation, trade union, registered party,
        constituency association or third party that is sponsoring or paying
        for it.

For further information:

For further information: Elections Ontario Media Relations: (416)
212-6186, 1-866-252-2152,; Election Finances Division,
Elections Ontario, Telephone: (416) 325-9401, Toll Free: 1-866-566-9066,

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