Canada Anti-Spam Law questions answered

As the new Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL) will finally come into full force starting July 1, 2014, many questions have been raised around the true impact CASL may have on organizations’ ongoing marketing efforts. Do all of your North American marketing campaigns need to fall in line with CASL? Do you need to re-permission your lists by the end of June? How do you know which messages or activities don’t need to comply?

To help answer these and other frequently asked questions, Experian Compliance will be speaking with CASL expert and fellow member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition (ESPC), Shaun Brown of nNovation LLP in an “ask the expert” webinar on Thursday, January 30th. To give you a sneak preview of what will be discussed in this live event, we asked Alex Krylov, our very own compliance expert at Experian Marketing Services,   to answer just a few of the most frequently asked questions he has encountered.

Q1. Why is it important for marketers to be aware of and prepared for the new Canada Anti-Spam Law? What are the most important facts people should know?

A1. CASL raises the compliance bar in many important ways. It sets a stricter baseline for acceptable forms of consent, requires prior knowledge that the recipient is in Canada, and adds prescriptive disclosure requirements around acquisition touch points and within messaging. But most critically, it gives Canadians the ability to sue violators in court.  

Q2. Once these new regulations are officially implemented and enforced, how do you think North American marketing organizations will be impacted?

A2. Organizations comfortable with the US CAN-SPAM Act will need to pay close attention to nuances within CASL and its implementing regulations. Some may find CASL incompatible with their existing data acquisition practices. Others may need to reassess their remarketing and referral practices. Still others will be able to rely on many of the exemptions provided by Industry Canada. What’s interesting is that organizations regularly engaging EU or Australian consumers may have an easier time aligning with CASL.

Q3. Will all North American marketing campaigns need to fall in line with CASL?

A3. I suspect this is going to be a hotly debated topic in the email community – is CASL the North American King of the Hill? We know that Industry Canada exempts organizations who merely route messages through Canada. The key challenge for me is saying with a reasonable degree of certainty that the individual reading my message is doing so from a Canadian system, or not. Depending on how confident I am in this knowledge I will optimize my lists and campaigns.

Q4. Do you recommend marketers need re-permission their lists by the end of June?

A4. A marketer who had few opportunities to collect express consent from their recipients in the past and can’t qualify for the available exemptions may need to take this approach. What’s helpful is Industry Canada clarifying that ‘express consent’ obtained before CASL comes into force that is compliant with Canada’s current privacy legislation (PIPEDA) will be considered compliant with CASL. This clarification, along with the ability to “reset the clock” on implied consent, should help marketers decide how conservative they wish to be here.

Q5. What are some other key recommendations or pieces of advice you can give to help marketers prepare?

A5. It’s a trifecta of audit, optimization, and re-permissioning that we will talk about in more detail with our guest expert, Shaun Brown from nNovation LLP, during the webinar. But it all begins with determining to what degree CASL applies to you.

For more in-depth information about the new Canada Anti-Spam Law and recommendations on how you can prepare your organization for its impact this summer, please attend our informative webinar on Thursday, Jan 30th from 3-4PM ET.

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