Promotional contests

Section 74.06 of the Competition Act is a civil provision. It prohibits any promotional contest that does not disclose the number and approximate value of prizes, the area or areas to which they relate and any important information relating to the chances of winning such as the odds of winning. It also stipulates that the distribution of prizes cannot be unduly delayed and that participants be selected or prizes distributed on the basis of skill or on a random basis. It should be noted that in addition to complying with section 74.06 of the Act, a contest must be lawful as it relates to other federal statutes such as the Criminal Code, as well as other relevant provincial statutes and local by-laws. The possible applicability of these statutes and by-laws should be explored.

If a court determines that a person has engaged in conduct contrary to section 74.06, it may order the person not to engage in such conduct, to publish a corrective notice and/or to pay an administrative monetary penalty of up to $750,000 in the case of a first time occurrence by an individual and $10,000,000 in the case of a first time occurrence by a corporation. For subsequent orders, the penalties increase to a maximum of $1,000,000 in the case of an individual and $15,000,000 in the case of a corporation.

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