General Motors exits Canadian ad body

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TORONTO -- Canada's largest advertiser, General Motors of Canada, Oshawa, Ontario, pulled its membership from Advertising Standards Canada because it disagrees with its resolution process for consumer complaints. The company, which spent more than $100 million in advertising last year, says it doesn't like that fact that just one consumer complaint triggers a review by the ASC. Ads are reviewed by ASC staff against the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and/or the Gender Portrayal Guidelines. Advertisers are notified of the complaint and if the ad is found to be in violation of any of the codes, the advertiser is asked to change or withdraw the ad from media. Beginning last year, any complaints upheld by the ASC which were not changed or withdrawn by the advertiser were published along with the advertiser's name. While GM was not one of the 13 advertisers named in the 1997 report, one of its dealers was; Quebec-based Theberge Pontiac Buick Inc. had two ads judged to exploit sexuality.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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