There are still a lot of unknowns about the final Regulations under the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation, but there are some obvious steps the performing arts sector may take to prepare for this new legislative environment.
The Canada’s Anti-spam Legislation (CASL) was granted Royal Assent in 2010, and the CRTC regulations were finalized in 2012, but the key provisions of the legislation will not come into force until the Industry Canada Regulations under CASL have been published. The Cabinet shuffle and the Parliament prorogation have significantly delayed the process for preparing the final Industry Canada Regulations, but they also provided more opportunities for amendments. Through the Imagine Canada CASL working group, we received further indications that the final Regulations may include significant amendments that could mitigate the impact of the CASL on charities and non-profits.
The publication of the Industry Canada Regulations under CASL is now not expected until the new year. The Regulations allow for a three-year transition period, and we’ve received indications that even when tabled, the Regulations won’t take effect for a year (in essence, providing a four-year transition period). So there is plenty of time ahead of the performing arts sector to take a proactive approach for readiness to the CASL.
Regardless of the final provisions of the Regulations, it is worthwhile for arts organization to immediately adopt basic principles of electronic marketing etiquette. If your organization uses e-mail, text, instant messages or other electronic messaging such as social media messaging for commercial communications with subscribers, single ticket buyers, donors, sponsors or prospects, you should at least:
- Ensure that you have the recipient’s consent and that you keep some documentation of when and how the consent was provided;
- Only send your recipients those message types and contents for which you have been provided consent;
- Provide clear sender name and reply-to address; and,
- Make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe.
There are many good posts on e-mail marketing etiquette. Let’s hope that the CASL will be an opportunity for the arts sector to implement and to even enhance these good marketing practices.