The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Canada’s Competition Bureau has stirred up a storm with proposed guidelines on how it would interpret advertising laws in cyberspace. The guidelines it published earlier this summer for comment have been swiftly and in no uncertain terms opposed by almost every major stakeholder in the country. It’s possible, in fact, that it’s unanimously opposed, but the bureau is respecting confidentiality requests, so we can’t take a headcount. This clear misreading of industry needs is a scandal for a department that should know better. Industry Canada, the body responsible for the bureau, is generally swifter off the mark on Internet issues than we’ve seen in this instance. Contacted for a story in this issue, bureau officials say they haven’t thought further than analyzing the submissions. The same officials told CNM that the issue is "technical", and that we were thus premature to ask "what next"? Yet, a reliable source indicates that the bureau has already let it be known that it’s open to a roundtable to help resolve the issue. And it should be. The issues may be "technical", but a half-hour scan of the material makes it clear there’s unrest among the troops. There is more than a hint of industry condescension in submission after submission each with a section titled "How the Internet Works" that can’t have been missed even by the kid digitizing the briefs for web posting. If the bureau has cut and paste its guidelines from an inappropriate model, it should admit so now. It has a responsibility to one of Canada’s most important economic sectors to indicate a willingness to learn the issues and to draft guidelines in a true spirit of informed consultation. It doesn’t take a lawyer to recognize that the industry players want a friendly chat - now. We urge the bureau to give it that chance before wasting another day on proposals that, from the start, were doomed to failure.