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Elections Calgary

Third Party Advertiser advertising requirements

What is election advertising?

As per the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA) Section 162, election advertising is the transmission to the public of an advertising message that promotes or opposes a candidate. The advertising would take place during the election advertising period which is May 1 in the year in which a general election is held and ending at the end of the election day. More guidelines are available in Third Party Guidelines for Local Elections in Alberta.

Election advertising includes:

  • Canvassing for the benefit of a candidate
  • Organizing events where the primary purpose of the event is to promote or oppose a candidate
  • TV, radio, newspaper ads
  • Signs, billboards, posters
  • Newsletters, brochures, mailing inserts
  • Ads on the internet with a placement cost (pay-per-click, paid social media, pop-up ads, etc.).

Election advertising does NOT include:

  • Editorial, debate, speech, interview, column, letter, news
  • Book distribution or promotion
  • Communication by a corporation to employees or shareholders
  • Sharing political views on the internet (blogs, posts on social media that are not paid)
  • Phone calls encouraging voter participation
  • Advertising by local jurisdictions (i.e., The City of Calgary, Elections Calgary)
  • Unintended information/advertising in another jurisdiction

Identification of Third Party Advertisers in advertising

As required in the LAEA section 179, all TPA sponsored election advertising must include the following three elements:

  1. TPAs name
  2. Contact information
  3. Indicate whether the third party authorizes the election advertising

Telephone advertising additional requirements

Election advertising via telephone calls (live calls or automated pre-recorded calls) must include:

  • Call display of telephone number. The number must be displayed and cannot be blocked from being displayed.
  • Name of third party.  The name must be stated at the beginning of the election advertising.
  • Authorization. Must state whether the election advertising is authorized by the third party.
  • Contact telephone number. A contact number must be stated at the end of the election advertising.

List of election advertising

On or before March 1 in the year following a general election, all TPAs must submit an advertising return report that includes a list of the time and place of broadcast or publication of the advertisements.

Note: The information on this page is provided for convenience of reference only. All third party advertisers are subject to further requirements in the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA). Third party advertisers are advised to refer to the LAEA and obtain legal advice regarding the full extent of their obligations.