Our last FAQ “What Are the General Content Requirements?” set out the identity and contact information that must be set out in a commercial electronic message (“CEM”) in accordance with Canada’s anti-spam legislation (“CASL”).  In this FAQ, we discuss the unsubscribe mechanism that also needs to be set out in a CEM.

A CEM must clearly and prominently set out a no-cost mechanism that allows the recipient to unsubscribe from receiving future CEMs.  The mechanism must allow the recipient of the CEM to unsubscribe by way of the same electronic means the message was sent, and specify an electronic address or link to an internet page to which the indication may be sent.  The sender must ensure that the electronic address or link is valid for at least 60 days after the message was sent.  If it is not practicable to include the unsubscribe mechanism in the CEM, it may be posted on a webpage that is readily accessible by the recipient of the CEM, provided that such access is at no cost to the recipient and the link to the mechanism is clearly and prominently set out in the CEM.

The unsubscribe mechanism must be able to be readily performed, which according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission means “accessed without difficulty or delay, and should be simple, quick, and easy for the consumer to use.”  It is acceptable to direct someone to a landing page to carry out the unsubscribe, and which landing page allows for both a full unsubscribe and categories from which one can unsubscribe.  However, it is not acceptable to require a person to log-in to carry out the unsubscribe request.

A request to unsubscribe must be implemented without delay, and in any event no later than 10 business days after the request was sent.