Advertising to Canadians: Electronic messaging

Apr 2nd '20

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) generally prohibits the sending of commercial electronic messages (essentially, marketing and promotional messages) without prior explicit consent.


In this blog, we share things you should know and to do when undertaking electronic messaging.


Things to know
  • Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (known as CASL) is likely the most comprehensive e-messaging law in the world
  • CASL applies to “commercial electronic messages” (CEM), which is defined very broadly to include almost all email, SMS, instant messaging and at least some social media communications sent for a commercial purpose
  • CASL applies to messages received in Canada (even when the sender is outside Canada) and messages sent from Canada
  • Penalties for non-compliance include fines of up to CAD $10,000,000 per violation (e.g., per message)


Things to do
  • Establish which lawful authority (such as consent, an exemption to consent or a full exemption) can be used to send a CEM to Canadian recipients
  • If requesting express consent, ensure that your request complies with CASL’s prescriptive form and content rules
  • Ensure that the content of any regulated message complies with CASL’s disclosure and unsubscribe requirements
  • Implement a corporate compliance plan
  • Honour any unsubscribe request without delay, but in any event, no later than 10 business days after receiving it
  • Document your approach to compliance



Advertising to Canadians: General Guidance.


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