For Immediate Release
November 29, 2018

Canadian securities regulators caution issuers about problematic promotional activities

Vancouver – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), today published CSA Staff Notice 51-356, Problematic promotional activities by issuers, cautioning companies to avoid promotional activities that may artificially increase an issuer’s share price or trading volume, or may mislead investors. 

The notice outlines CSA Staff’s concerns with certain promotional practices, including dissemination of unbalanced or unsubstantiated material claims. Such practices have been observed among issuers in the venture market, though expectations about disclosure and promotional activities apply to all issuers. 

“Misleading promotional activity by issuers undermines the integrity of our capital markets and puts investors at risk of harm,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “We are publishing this notice to remind issuers of our expectations in this area.” 

Examples of promotional activities that may be misleading include:

  • Disseminating presentations, marketing materials, social media posts, or other information that describe early-stage plans with unwarranted certainty, or make unsupported assertions about growth of markets or demand for a product;
  • Announcing an issuer name or business change to reference an emerging industry or technology without a supporting business plan or comprehensive risk disclosure;
  • Compensating third parties who use social media and general investing blogs to promote issuers, but do not disclose their agency, compensation or financial interest.

CSA members will continue to monitor promotional activities undertaken by, or on behalf of, issuers, and will take action as necessary, including ordering a clarifying news release, a removal of overly promotional language from company communications, or a re-filing of disclosure documents.

The CSA notice, which can be found on CSA members’ websites, urges companies to familiarize themselves with prohibitions against misleading statements, acts or conduct.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories, co- ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

For Investor inquiries, please refer to your respective securities regulator. You can contact them here

For media inquiries, please refer to the list of provincial and territorial representatives below or contact us at media@acvm-csa.ca:

Kristen Rose
Ontario Securities Commission
416-593-2336

Sylvain Théberge
Autorité des marchés financiers
514-940-2176            

Brian Kladko
British Columbia Securities Commission
(604) 899-6713

Hilary McMeekin
Alberta Securities Commission
403-592-8186

Jason (Jay) Booth
Manitoba Securities Commission
204-945-1660

Sara Wilson
Financial and Consumer Services
Commission, New Brunswick
506-643-7045

David Harrison
Nova Scotia Securities Commission
902-424-8586

Steve Dowling
Government of
Prince Edward Island,
Superintendent of Securities
902-368-4550

Craig Whalen
Office of the Superintendent
of Securities,
Newfoundland and Labrador
709-729-5661

Rhonda Horte
Office of the Yukon Superintendent
of Securities
867-667-5466

Jeff Mason
Nunavut Securities Office
867-975-6587

Tom Hall
Office of the Superintendent
of Securities
Northwest Territories
(867) 767-9305

Shannon McMillan
Financial and Consumer Affairs
Authority of Saskatchewan
306-798-4160