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Canadian Anti-Spam Law – CASL

In response to being labelled as a safe haven for spammers, the Canadian government have introduced new legislation for electronic communications, whether it is email, SMS or social media.

The information here is specifically for email marketing.

The legislation is quite clear. In order to send email messages to recipients in Canada, whether they are consumers or business, you must have gained permission to do so. The permission can be either “express/explicit” or “implied”. This legislation applies to marketers inside Canada and also to marketers outside of Canada that are sending messages to Canadians.

Express/Explicit is where the recipient has given express permission to use their address via some form of affirmative action. The most simple expression of this is a tick box indicating they do want to receive messages from you. You should make a log of the date stamp and how the permission was given.

Implied is more ambiguous but covers situations where you may have a business relationship with the recipient (maybe through a sale or enquiry) but they have not ticked a box formally. In these circumstances you must move these people to the express form of consent within the next 2 years (date of writing this is 9th July 2014).

In all cases the sender of a message must make it clear who is sending the message – the person and company, as well as provide a postal address. You must also allow the recipients a clear and unambiguous opportunity to unsubscribe from future messages.

PLEASE NOTE: This document does not set out to offer legal advice. It is our interpretion of the legislation changes as they stand today. You should seek legal advice if unclear.

For further information on the changes click here.

Canadian Anti-Spam Law – CASL