Text Messaging

1. The cost per message and the currency must be disclosed in both Audio and Video (i.e. US or CDN funds). The cost per message must be clearly articulated in the voiceover and the cost per message must be clearly displayed on screen wherever the call to action is displayed.

2. Specific messaging for the various categories of costs associated with text messaging services should be detailed by one of the applicable references below:

  • Standard Rate Programs: Notification that “Standard carrier messaging fees apply” must be communicated in both Audio and Video.
  • On-Demand Premium Rate Programs (i.e. no subscription element exists)

i. Cost per message must be indicated in both audio and video. Example as follows: “$0.25 CDN per message received (or sent).”
ii. Notice that the charge will be billed on the customer’s wireless phone bill or deducted from their prepaid balance must be communicated, at a minimum, in video.

  • Premium Rate Subscriptions: In addition to the requirements in ii above, a subscription service must note the fact that it is indeed a subscription, the duration of the service (i.e. 2 weeks, 1 month, ongoing, etc.), frequency of message receipt (daily, weekly, etc.) or the premium charge interval if applicable. All of the above information must be clearly articulated in both Audio and Video.
  • A premium charge interval refers to situations where a person could subscribe for a charge of $X in order to receive Y messages over a duration of Z time. (i.e. A person pays $5 CDN to receive 30 messages each month from their favourite Hockey team).

NOTE 1: No program is to be promoted as “Free” when either premium fees or standard rate fees are associated with the program that the subscriber will have to pay with a reasonable level of participation in the program.
NOTE 2: In cases where an On-Demand Premium Rate Program or Premium Rate Subscription takes it upon themselves to add a reference to (a) above, the wording in (a) must be changed to “Standard carrier messaging fees may apply” to be accurate in the Canadian market.

3. The advertiser must be disclosed in both Audio and Video. The advertiser name that must be identified is the name of the service provider responsible for managing customer service inquiries related to the specific service being advertised.

4. The age restriction must be disclosed in both Audio and Video. If the service is applicable for all ages the following disclaimer must be indicated at a minimum in Video: “Under 16, must seek permission from bill payer or have parental approval.”

5. Instructions for how to cancel/unsubscribe from the service must be clearly articulated in both Audio and Video. The <STOP> keyword must be specifically noted as an available opt-out mechanism.

6. Instructions on how to acquire assistance and/or more program information from the service provider must be displayed, at a minimum, in Video. A complete website address or toll-free number must be clearly displayed on screen.

7. The fonts used in any supers for fulfilling any of the above guidelines must be sized at 50% or greater than the font used in the call to action display. The font used should be Arial and must be presented in contrasting colour to the background. Any supers providing program information must stay on screen for a minimum of five (5) seconds. NOTE: All supers relating to the cost/frequency of the service as in points 1 and 2 above must be fully noted whenever the call to action is displayed superseding the 5 second guideline noted here.

8. Any voiceover information fulfilling any of the above must be at the same audio level as the rest of the spot. This voiceover can be read no more than 25% faster than the rest of the voiceovers in the spot.