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Updated Fishbowl FAQ on Canada Anti-Spam Legislation

The Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (or CASL) legislation will take effect on July 1, 2014 and applies to all commercial electronic messages (email and text) that are sent or received in Canada.   We have conducted a review of the implications of CASL for our clients and have updated this guide to help answer preliminary questions.  Please seek direction from your legal advisor for a detailed interpretation of the law as it relates to your marketing program.

What does CASL Require?

The core requirements for email marketers are the following:

  • Express consent (opt-in) must be collected for all recipients;
  • Existing members with implied consent must be converted to express consent or suppressed within a certain timeframe;
  • Proof of opt-in (date and time, source of consent, type of consent – express or implied), and type of action (subscribe/unsubscribe) must be collected for each member and stored for three years after the last mailing to a member.

What is the timeframe to become compliant?

  • There is a three year transitional period (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017) during which email marketers may continue to send messages to members while converting them from implied to express consent.   After June 30, 2017 you must be in compliance with CASL.

What does Fishbowl recommend to clients right now?

  • Clients should focus on their electronic join pages and ensure they are in compliance with CASL regarding express consent.
  • Clients should continue to follow best practices for list collection and member management.  Details below.*
  • Clients should review their programs with their own legal counsel for determination about any changes that need to be made to their programs.

What are overall best practices for list collection and member management for mailings?

  • Ensure your members are opting in.
  • Ensure your members know they are opting in.
  • Ensure your members know how to unsubscribe.
  • Ensure your privacy policy is clearly visible on all digital collection methods.
  • Ensure your business name and address are clearly noted in your footers.
  • Always include an unsubscribe link in your email messages.
  • Content that is sent to opt-in members should include only brand-specific content to which the members opted-in.