Everything you need to know about Canada’s anti-spam legislation

If you are a company that sends customers emails or newsletters, Canada’s new Bill C-28 is particularly important for you. However, it can be difficult to know exactly what is permitted and what is not, which is why we wanted to provide a simplified outline of this new legislation introduced on July 1st, 2014.

In simple terms, Bill C-28 aims to protect Canadians from unsolicited emails while allowing companies to continue to promote their products and services through digital communications.

To do this, it is now mandatory to obtain the consent of the person to whom you send the email before sending your message. You must also allow users to easily unsubscribe from your communications, and be a “trustworthy” company according to the Government’s definition.

For our customers, there are two types of consent, explicit consent or implicit consent. Explicit consent means that the subscriber registered through an online or physical form confirming that he or she agrees to receive communications.

Implied consent arises from contact between the consumer and the dealership, be it for a test drive or after requesting a quote, through which the potential client has given their email address. This consent is valid for a period of six months. If a customer has purchased or leased a vehicle, implied consent is valid for up to two years.

Once consent is given, whether explicit or implicit, it is legal to send communications to the customer. That said, there are important rules. First, companies must clearly identify themselves by putting their name in the sender field, include the complete mailing address, and provide a valid email address to allow the subscriber to answer the email.

As noted above, it is also mandatory to display a clear unsubscribe link that is easily accessible. This means that we place a link in the message footer that allows the receiver to unsubscribe quickly without going through several stages.

Since the announcement of the eminent arrival of Bill C-28, Solutions Médias 360 made sure that each of our clients were aware of the new legislation, and that their communications abided by the new rules.

If you have any questions about Bill C-28, its implications, and how to comply, contact one of our account managers today!