As the holiday season approaches, businesses and organizations may be preparing to send seasonal greetings or invitations to holiday-themed celebrations. Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), these holiday greetings may attract thousands of dollars in liability.
Generally, CASL provides that a sender must obtain consent of a recipient before sending a commercial electronic message. A commercial electronic message is any electronic message that it would be reasonable to conclude has as its purpose, or one of its purposes, the encouragement of participation in a commercial activity. If an organization determines that its greeting does suggest meaningful encouragement of commercial activity, such a greeting may be considered a commercial electronic message under CASL. A number of exemptions may apply under CASL, depending on the facts. While CASL may create a complex landscape, it appears that the best approach is to develop a compliance program, including conducting due diligence on business mailing lists.
For more information on developing corporate compliance programs, click here.