NO MORE SPAM!
As of July 1,
2014 (Canada Day) “Spam” is off the menu in Canada!
On that date,
Canada’s new anti-spam legislation, more formally known as the Electronic
Commerce Protection Act, comes into effect and Canada will have some of the
harshest laws in the world controlling commercial electronic messaging by text,
email or social media.
electronic message sent for a commercial purpose (this includes offers or
coupons, alerts to a business opportunity or sales) MUST have the consent of
the recipient. This applies to business to business communication
as well as business to consumer.
Consent can be obtained in two ways:
Implied - if your company has a prior business relationship with the recipient
in the previous 2 years
- you have obtained written consent from the recipient to include them on your
outgoing message MUST include an “unsubscribe” option to give all recipients a
chance to change their minds at any time in the future.
interest to dealers are warranty recall, safety or security information for the
vehicle the customer owns, but those communications are restricted to those
issues ONLY and dealers should not view that as a means to include sales or
With a few
months to go dealers might want to think about how they will ensure electronic
communications are not sent without consent. Date tracking customers who
have done business with you in the last two years, obtaining express consents
and thinking about how that consent will be obtained are all good ideas at this
are not allowed to ask for express consent by means of electronic communication
after July 1, 2014, so get started now! And remember, if you do this, a
form with a box already checked “yes” is not sufficient, the recipient must
opt-in actively and reply.
is unlikely that the privacy “consent boxes” most dealers have on their bills
of sale will satisfy the express consent requirements of the new law.
Penalties - fines can be levied up to a maximum
of $1 million for individuals and $10 million for organizations (and officers
and directors). After July 1, 2017 private or class actions might be
brought by individuals or groups against spam creators and their officers and
For more information a dealer-focused
Preparedness Guide has been designed can be viewed here(pdf). This document is
used with the kind permission of SCI MarketView.
There is more information
on all of this available from SCI at http://scimarketview.ca/casl-compliance-toolkit/
or call 888.919.8084.
The CRTC, who is tasked with enforcing the new law, also has
a useful website with more information at http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/casl-lcap.htm