Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation Event Recap: Top 5 Takeaways

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) has already affected the way the PR industry operates by ensuring recipients are protected against unwanted commercial messaging. CPRS Vancouver recently hosted a Speaker Series Event about CASL and its implications for the PR industry.

Here are our Top 5 Takeaways:

1. Commercial Electronic Message (CEM): According to, a CEM is: “Any electronic message that encourages participation in a commercial activity, regardless of whether there is an expectation of profit.” CASL does not apply non-commercial activity. Therefore, if you are sending out a News Release that strictly covers news, CASL doesn’t apply.

2. Unsubscribe mechanism. You MUST give people a mechanism to opt-out of any CEM. If you are sending out a News Release where you are selling something, you must include an ‘unsubscribe’ mechanism.  This mechanism needs to:

a.      Be functional for 60 days

b.      Be free

c.      Process without delay

d.      Use the same means, unless impractical

e.      Include either an address or link

3. Expressed consent: Occurs when the recipient says ‘yes’ to receiving your CEM, or when the recipient takes action to ‘opt-in’.

4. Implied consent: Implied consent occurs when you can show you have an existing business or non-business relationship. Implied consent last three years.

5. Fun fact: Canada is one of the last countries to develop anti-spam legislation.

To learn more about CASL, please visit