Businesses and Non-profits

Advertising in Quebec: What You Need to Know


Specific rules apply to advertising in Quebec, whether on the radio, billboards, television or online. This article explains some of the main rules.

You need permission to send emails

In Canada, businesses must obtain people’s consent before sending them commercial email messages.

To learn more, visit the Government of Canada’s website on anti-spam legislation.

You must advise the Régie before organizing certain contests

Promotional contests must follow the requirements of the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (Quebec alcohol and gaming commission) for prizes worth more than $100. The specific requirements depend on the prize value. Additional rules may also apply, such as:

  • Filing a contest notice with the Régie.
  • Making the detailed contest rules available to the public.
  • Sending a report to the Régie within 60 days after the winners have been announced.

To learn more, visit the Régie’s website.

No advertising aimed at children

Commercial advertising aimed at children under the age of 13 is generally not allowed in Quebec. To ensure you’re follow this rule, pay careful attention to

  • the product you’re advertising,
  • how your ad is presented,
  • the time of day when your ad appears, and
  • where your ad appears.

For more information, visit the website of the Office de la protection du consommateur (consumer protection office) and refer to the guide Advertising Directed at Children Under 13 Years of Age.

You cannot generally use content belonging to other people

Generally, your advertising can only contain content for which you hold the copyright. This means you can’t generally use music, videos, photographs or written work created by someone else without their permission.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, you’re usually allowed to use content created by your employees.

To learn more about what you can and can’t do with work created by others, see our article Copyright: When Can You Use Someone Else’s Work

Use of French

There are several rules concerning the use of French. For example, the following usually need to be in French:

  • name of your business
  • signs outside your business
  • social media and website
  • catalogues, brochures, folders, commercial directories and similar publications

If these are available in more than one language, the French version must be clearly predominant.

To learn more, visit the website of the Office québécois de la langue française (in French only).