CASL – The New Government Legislation That Will Change the Way Your Business Markets

What Is the CASL?

In 2010, the Canadian Government proposed the CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation), and as of July 1, 2017, it has been implemented fully.

CASL is Canada’s solution to what users can consider ‘spam advertising’. Spam can be defined as the influx of unsolicited promotional messages that fill users’ electronic message boxes, such as email, text messages and other forms of electronic mail, with the purpose of selling or promoting a product or service. With the new legislation in place, Canada is now sheltering Canadians, in an attempt to reduce such unsolicited promotional messages. It is a law that restricts the sending of electronic messages to computers in Canada. If a business uses electronic marketing of any kind, it is important to understand this new legislation, as failure to abide can have serious legal consequences.

CASL is a law that states businesses must receive consent from individuals before sending them electronic promotional material.

Consent Explained

Email marketing and other electronic messaging software or applications might not be aware of the new changes. It is important to check in closely with your service provider and ensure you adjust your messages and settings accordingly. If you don’t comply with the terms of your agreement, you are responsible, not the company.

I have consent, now what?

Within every message you send to an individual with promotional or selling intent, the legislation states you must have certain pieces somewhere within the message.

There are three main principles to the legislation:

  1. Consent – As discussed above, you must have either express or implied consent from an individual. This means that they either need to check a box willingly agreeing to receive communication, sign a form agreeing, or verbally provide a business with their contact information for promotional material.
  2. Identification – Businesses must identify themselves clearly in their message, including name, phone number, address and postal code. Wording and imagery, both in the subject line and actual message content, must not be misleading to the receiver regarding who they are receiving messages from.
  3. Unsubscribe – Finally, the option to be removed from an email list must be present on every digital message received by an individual.

To ensure safety, it is important to comply with three main principles.


I’ve been email marketing for years, why do I need to change now?

The legislation itself is new but has been in the works for the past 5 years. The CASL is a Canadian law that regulates certain aspects of the internet. These governing bodies make the legislation apply to all companies based in Canada, and anyone in correspondence with Canadians. Email marketing laws have changed, so it is important to adjust your strategy to comply.

It is a program that reduces the number of spam emails an individual receives. Overall, demonstrating that your business is up-to-date with legislation and cares about its clients reflects well from a consumer standpoint.


I should be fine, Someone Else is in Charge of my Company’s Marketing!

Email marketing software might not be aware of the new GDPR changes. Make sure to adjust your settings on your service provider’s website to ensure compliance with the new regulations.. In the case of non-compliance with terms, the liability falls on the individual, not the company.

In addition, following up with a third-party marketing company is a good way to ensure they are doing their job. If your marketing is not compliant with regulations, it is your business’s fault.


Tailor Law Professional Corporation offers a 20-minute free phone consultation. Feel free to talk to our lawyers and learn more about Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.

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