Tired of spam e-mails flooding your mailbox? Fed up with the spam messages on your mobile phone? Get ready for some good news. On July 1st, 2014, Canada will be unleashing an anti-spam taskforce. The sending of promotional messages by individuals or companies (including NGOs) will soon be rigorously policed.
Canada’s Anti-Spam Laws (CASL) have taken longer than most of their counterparts. Ten years in the works, Bill C-28 will come into effect in July. Signs are goods that the wait has been worth it. It looks as though Canada will soon have some of the toughest anti-spam laws in the world. Finally we’re going to see a clamp-down on black-hat marketing.
What started off as a campaign against unsolicited emails, soon snowballed into other forms of digital media. After gaining Royal Assent in December 2010, the bill remained the subject of long-running skepticism. Would it really deliver what it promised? Success came on November 28, 2013 when the president of the Treasury Board of Canada, Tony Clement, finally approved the bill. This was followed by a major announcement. In July we will finally see the results in action. The CASL will be deployed in phases and the full content of the bill will not come into effect until January 15, 2015.
We are all familiar with spam emails. They generally try to dupe us into signing up to mailing lists or newsletters, claiming to represent businesses large and small etc. Typical spam techniques include the use of checkboxes which don’t allow us to proceed directly to a destination page. Thankfully, the days of non-consensual marketing ploys are numbered. However, plenty of “legitimate” commercial messages will continue to be sent to our mobile phones and email boxes on an opt-out basis.
Avoiding the Damages!
With just over a month to go, many marketing companies will be scrambling to make themselves CASL compliant. The regulations are very specific. If somebody signs up for a newsletter subscription then this is totally legitimate. What companies need to watch out for are non-consensual messages e.g. welcome messages for new users.
What about the Good Marketers?
The July 1st CASL roll-out has got even legitimate marketers worried. Ensuring that your company is in full compliance with new guidelines can be time-consuming and expensive. However, in the long run these guidelines will be of benefit to ethical marketers. Spam practices are bad for everyone. They tar all marketing by association. The elimination of spam will allow legitimate marketing companies to ply their trade. Meanwhile we can all relish the thought of CASL complaints cramming the inboxes of black-hat marketers.