Advertising – reviews and complaints

Bulletin #2015-6


Effective January 1, 2016, RECO will review advertising before it is released if requested to do so by the broker of record. This bulletin outlines the process for such reviews.

There is also a new process for registrants making complaints about another registrant’s advertising.

All forms referenced in the bulletin are available in the forms section.

Part I: Review of proposed advertising

A. Application

This section applies to any advertisement that a broker of record requests to be reviewed by RECO before publication. The service is a courtesy review only and not an authorization process.

B. Review process

  1. A request for review must be submitted by the broker of record of the brokerage to which the advertisement relates. An individual salesperson or broker who makes such a request directly will be referred back to their broker of record.
  2. To submit an advertisement for review, a broker of record must complete the RECO advertising review request form (ARRF) and submit it to along with the advertisement to be reviewed. This form is available in the forms section of RECO’s website.
  3. Upon receipt of the properly completed ARRF, signed by the broker of record, RECO will review the proposed advertisement and issue an Advertising Review Report to the broker of record. The report and cover letter will clearly indicate any issues that need to be addressed or corrected.
  4. The compliant advertisement may then be published.

At no time may any advertisement state, suggest or imply that it has been authorized or approved by RECO.

RECO will issue an advertising review report after receiving a properly completed ARRF and advertisement. The broker of record must review the ad in question and indicate areas of concern on the completed ARRF. If an ARRF is incomplete, or lacks clear and express broker of record authorization, it will not be reviewed. RECO will notify the broker of record of the results of the review by email.

Please note that RECO does not perform a word-by-word review of every website page message or provide creative services.

Materials submitted to RECO will be kept and disposed according to RECO’s privacy policy; materials will NOT be returned to the broker of record.

Part II: Advertising complaints

A. Application

This section applies to any advertising complaint that a registrant wishes to file with RECO. To maintain professional standards in Ontario’s real estate sector, RECO encourages broker of record to attempt to resolve issues of advertising non-compliance with their counterpart from the other brokerage before referring any matters to RECO for consideration.

In order to submit a complaint, the person complaining must identify themselves. Advertising complaints submitted to RECO anonymously or by a registrant who is not a broker of record will not be processed.

B. Process

The complaining broker of record (CBOR) will have to complete an Advertising complaint summary form and attach the advertisement in question and any other evidence of alleged non-compliance. This form is available in the “Filing a complaint” and “forms” sections of RECO’s website.

The CBOR will also have to include an explanation and copies of the CBOR’s correspondence showing the efforts to resolve the matter with the responding broker of record (RBOR).

Upon receipt of the properly completed complaint form and records, RECO will process the complaint, affording the RBOR the opportunity to submit a response regarding the issue in dispute.

Failure to comply with this registrar’s bulletin

Please note that RECO may reject any request, complaint or form that does not conform to the procedures set out in this registrar’s bulletin.

Joseph Richer, Registrar

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