U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, June 2014 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

The new Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL) regarding Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs) has entered into force on July 1, 2014. This new law regulates what you can and cannot do with emails, text messages and other forms of Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs).

A lot of media have touched upon explicit and implied consent related to the sending of electronic newsletters and bulk email broadcasts. But there is still a lot of confusion and anxiety among (online) marketers regarding this new law. For instance, what are the implications for prospecting emails? How about sending emails regarding existing subscriptions? Warranty? Quotes?

First of all, let me state that I am not a lawyer and that the information provided in this column should only be used as part of your own research. I am merely sharing some of the information that I have found online, and hope you can benefit from this in your own search for relevant information.

A good place to start researching this new law is to read the Frequently Asked Question on http://fightspam.gc.ca/, which is the Government website dedicated to the Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). There you can find things like examples of what constitutes a Commercial Electronic Message (for instance “offers to purchase, sell, barter or lease a product, goods, a service”) and the requirements for them (like “There are three general requirements for sending a commercial electronic message (CEM) to an electronic address. You need (1) consent, (2) identification information and (3) an unsubscribe mechanism.”). Important note: You have to track how you obtained consent of each individual to whom you send CEMs.

I also found a useful summary of the CASL, which summarizes the main parts of the legislation in easy to read bulleted and numbered lists. It can be found on http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/00285.html. Find that link too long? Look for clickable links on www.u-cwebs.com/casl.php, where I also provided a quick overview of the main items of the CASL.

Hopefully these resources can help you navigate your way through some tricky new legislation.

For more information: contact your web developer, or website optimizer Nardo Kuitert at www.ferguswebsites.com or 519-787-7612. Nardo has written this column on behalf of the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce since 2006.

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