By Peter Maddox, DSA Canada President
We recently held our annual Legal & Regulatory Seminar. This year it was a virtual event and it was great to be joined by a diverse group of knowledgeable speakers and attendees from across the direct sales channel. Due to their commitment to our Codes of Ethics, we know that compliance is always at the front of mind for our members and we are pleased to be working together with them to keep aiming our sights high.
Clear lines of communication are vital for understanding and complying with regulation and best practice. For this reason, it was especially pleasing to be joined by representatives of the Competition Bureau Canada, who provided an update on the Competition Act, as well as by Ad Standards, who delved into the rights and wrongs of promotion via influencers.
If there was one central theme of the day, it was that now, more than ever, is the time for direct selling companies to ensure that they are compliant with all legal and regulatory requirements. The COVID-19 pandemic has created burdens for all businesses and regulators, as Canadians seek out information, opportunities and products that they can trust. For our channel, companies who succeed need to be the best-of-the-best in the areas of product efficacy, earnings claims, consultant relationships, privacy, transparency and fulfilment of legal obligations.
The whole industry has a part to play in compliance, including the DSA, direct selling companies and their independent sales consultants. Through clear communication of expectations, transparency of action, and subsequent commitment to responsible conduct, our industry will experience a sustainable, respected and successful future.
As we begin to come out the other end of the pandemic, regulators will begin to shift their focus from their many COVID-19 challenges, back to their day-to-day compliance and enforcement roles. We are fortunate that through hard work and dedication, DSA Canada members are ready to go under the microscope, as they remain committed to doing the right thing.
Direct sellers may want to visit the Competition Bureau‘s website to stay abreast of current enforcement measures regarding the Competition Act, and utilize the Influencer Marketing Guidelines available via Ad Standards’ website to help brands and influencers continue to maintain consumer trust.