458 - What are PAAB's guidelines or restrictions (if any), regarding boosting posts or promoting a corporate (unbranded) social media page (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)?

  • This matter relates to consumer advertising. PAAB does not set “restrictions” relating to DTC advertising/information. Rather, we interpret Health Canada guidance documents such as “The Distinction Between Advertising and Other Activities” and Health Canada linkage policies. By “booster posts”, I presume you mean you have a post which already meets all applicable consumer advertising regulations and you’ll boost that post to help it reach a broader audience. Targeting tools are typically an essential part of a successful boosting strategy. They also provide opportunities to unknowingly contravene the consumer regulations by creating unacceptable links to the ad. Always pause and consider whether the targeting tools you are using when boosting creates links which cause the otherwise compliant ad to become non-compliant. For example, I’ve likely exceeded those regulations if I have a product name-only ad for a Rx arthritis product and I target its boost to people who have an interest in arthritis (i.e. the manufacturer has taken action which associated the drug product to its therapeutic use). The same would apply if I have an unbranded ad which mentions a condition and I target the boost to people who have an interest in the product (drug X). As with any other scenario, always assess the linkages you generate carefully.

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