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Businesses confused about anti-spam law


June 26, 2014
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

June 26, 2014, Toronto — The broad new "anti-spam" law that comes into force next week will severely restrict how businesses can use email, text messaging and social media to communicate with consumers, but many business owners are unclear about what the new rules will mean for their marketing.

A new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) found that only 15 per cent of small business owners are fully aware of Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL) requirements, and most (62 per cent) have taken no steps to comply.

“Most small business owners don’t think of themselves as spammers,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “But under the new law, everyday interactions with customers and potential customers will be considered spam without a significant investment to document the right permissions.”

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Among other changes, the new law will require businesses to seek consent to send business emails, keep a record of those consents, and to add an unsubscribe feature to every email message. The required technological and process changes can be significant. CFIB reports that one small business was told it will cost them $30,000 to $50,000 to be in full compliance.

CFIB has received dozens of calls from concerned business owners who are struggling to figure out how to make their businesses viable in the new CASL world.

“The government has repeatedly insisted that CASL was designed to go after the worst offenders, and not the general business population,” added executive vice president Laura Jones. “Small businesses want to comply with the spirit of the law, but implementing the letter of the law will be a challenge. Clearly, more work needs to be done to make CASL work for small business.”

Click here to review CFIB's tips on implementing CASL for small business.


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