This is the first in a series of posts on preparing for CASL. Next week, we’ll look at the scope of this legislation and whether you’re affected; and in the third post, we’ll provide tips to ensure you comply with the new era of permission-based electronic communications.
On July 1st, Canadian marketers will enter an era where commercial electronic messages (CEMs) will be subject to stringent new restrictions … and failure to comply could be financially devastating. Is your business ready to meet the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)?
CASL is all about consent
As you likely know, CASL is based on 3 basic requirements for sending a CEM – Consent, Identification Information and an Unsubscribe Mechanism.
Many, if not most, direct marketers already have these elements in place in some form. But there is much more to consider under the new rules.
Don’t be fooled by the term ‘Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation’. It has been designed to cast a wider net than ‘anti-spam’ laws in the traditional sense. Although one of the primary objectives is to deter annoying, unwanted, deceptive and even malicious forms of spam reaching Canadians, the new legislation applies to a very broad definition of commercial e-mail.
3 key things you may not know
By now, you’ve likely read a lot about the new legislation. You probably know it requires marketers to gain a consumer’s specific consent to receive CEMs. But did you know …
- Penalties to an organization for CASL non-compliance can be as high as $10 million. The courts will have broad latitude to award damages related to CASL offences. Law firm Osler warns “anyone who believes they have been affected by your non-compliance will have standing to commence a private action. Class actions are widely expected.”
- The CASL definition of a CEM is very broad. It covers more than email, even encompassing social media communications. For example, a PR firm’s cold pitch to a blogger could fall under CASL.
- The 3-year grace period isn’t a 3-year free pass. According to CASL, consent to send CEMs is implied for 36 months where there is an existing relationship with the recipient that includes CEMs. However, the period ends if the recipient fails to provide consent.
Understanding the far-reaching scope of CASL is the first step to ensuring compliance as of July 1st. Our upcoming posts will help you do that when we review who CASL affects and your company’s preparedness.
Until then, read more about CASL at FightSpam.ca.
Is your business ready for July 1st? Leave a comment below.