Veterinarians may undertake marketing activities that are in compliance with this Professional Practice Standard to improve the viability of their practices. However as professionals, veterinarians are held to a high standard. Advertising by veterinarians should convey professionalism as it can affect the public perception of, and respect for, the entire profession of veterinary medicine. This Professional Practice Standard has been developed to assist veterinarians in understanding their legal and professional responsibilities pertaining to issues of advertising without restricting veterinarians’ business practice freedom where it is neither warranted nor the role of the College.
Advertising: Advertising is a mode of marketing that might be defined as any message communicated in any public medium (print, internet, television, radio, etc) that is used for the purpose of promoting a member’s professional services, goods, practice, or image.
Ancillary Services: Ancillary services refer to boarding, grooming, funeral services and sales of foods, supplies and other goods and services used by or with animals that is provided by a member whether as part of, or separately from, their practice of veterinary medicine.
Client: Client means, with respect to a veterinarian, the owner of an animal(s) or group of animals that the veterinarian is treating, an authorized representative of the owner, or an individual who the veterinarian reasonably determines is acting in the interest of the animal(s) or group of animals.
Marketing: In very general terms, marketing is the activity of promoting one’s services to members of the general public or any segment of the public. Examples of marketing include (but are not limited to) advertising (see below), making public appearances, issuing press releases, participating in directory listings, and distributing brochures and business cards.
Veterinarians Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. V.3 s. 5.1, 19
R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 1093: General, s. 1, 17(1)(8), 17(1)(9), 17(1)(10), 17(1)(44), 17(1)(45), 35, 36, 51, and 52 (Veterinarians Act)
The following can be found at the College’s website at cvo.org:
Policy Statement: Steering