Cracking down on ads and communication for Quebec bars

By Robin Della Corte

The Ethics Council of the Alcoholic Beverage Industry in Quebec said in their annual report released March 25 that Quebec bars which target underage youth in their advertising or place advertisements of a sexual nature will be censured.

According to its code of ethics, the council wants it to be known that there is a fine line between drinking alcohol in moderation and excess drinking that leads to dependence.

“No advertising communication or promotional activity shall target young people under the age of 18,” the ethics code says.

The report singled out Fuzzy nightclub at the corner of Boulevard St. Martin and Our Lady of Fatima in Duvernay, which closed its doors last year, after 22 years in business, when it was denounced by the ethics board, which received numerous complaints about a contest that was degrading to women.

The nightclub promoted a contest on its Facebook page that asked female clients to simulate oral sex onstage, using a plastic phallus.

The Council alleged that—although the nightclub organized many controversial sex-themed advertisements—this particular one gained much attention and attracted many complaints.

The ethics code stipulates that “neither packaging nor communications shall in any way be sexist, associate the product with sexual performance or imply that it will enhance sexual prowess or attractiveness.”

If it rules that the code of ethics has been violated, the Ethics Council will set a time limit for the person or company allegedly violating the code to take corrective action, unless it is a repeat offence, in which case the Ethics Council can publicly rebuke the alleged offender “without offering the person or the company an opportunity to take corrective action.”

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