In our last CASL FAQ asking “Are My Organization’s Emails Spam?”, we cautioned that the activities of not-for-profits and charities may be caught under the concept of a “commercial electronic message”.  If this is the case, you will need to ask the following questions before sending out a commercial electronic message:

  1. Do you have consent?
  2. Does the commercial electronic message satisfy the content requirements?

Consent can be express or implied.  If you are obtaining express consent on July 1, 2014 and onwards, certain requirements will need to be met for the consent to be valid under Canada’s anti-spam legislation (“CASL”).  If you are relying on implied consent, you will need to ensure that you fit the specific scenarios (which are limited) that are described in CASL. In future blogs, we will discuss the requirements for obtaining express consent, and the limited scenarios one can rely on for implied consent.

To satisfy the content requirements, one will need to include in the commercial electronic message certain contact information and an unsubscribe mechanism.  See Adrian Liu’s bulletin “Anti-Spam Law to Come into Force on July 1, 2014” for more information on the content and unsubscribe requirements.