Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

What is CASL and why do I need to comply with it

 casl lawa wendy hulton(CASL) came into effect back on July 1, 2014 and while Canada was late to the anti-spam movement, it caught up fast with one of the toughest and widest reaching anti-spam regimes to date.  


 

(CASL) came into effect back on July 1, 2014 and while Canada was late to the anti-spam movement, it caught up fast with one of the toughest and widest reaching anti-spam regimes to date.  

But CASL applies to much more than traditional “spam.”   CASL applies to all your electronic messages (think email, text, SMS, etc.) that you are sending in Canada, if any aspect of the message encourages participation in any kind of commercial activity.  You can stop reading this article now, if you already know that CASL (with a few exceptions) essentially prohibits sending commercial electronic messages (aka CEMs) to anyone in Canada without their consent.

 Under CASL, consent can either be “express” or “implied.”  Express consent is preferable because it remains valid until it is revoked.  In order to obtain express consent, you must clearly disclose: (1) what you are seeking consent to send (promotions, sales, etc.), (2) information identifying the sender, and (3) mention that the party may unsubscribe at any time.

Implied consent, for example, is valid for six  months from the date the recipient sent a request for a quote to the sender, unless withdrawn sooner.  Implied consent also applies if there is an “existing business relationship” between the sender and the recipient, based on the purchase of products or services between the parties within the past two year period preceding the date the CEM was sent.

CASL’s provisions allow CEM type messages to be sent without full CASL compliance in a B2B context such as messages sent within an organization, or by an employee, representative, consultant or franchisee to another employee, representative, consultant or franchisee of that organization, in connection with the activities of that organization or to another organization, if the organizations “have a relationship” and the message concerns the activities of the recipient organization.

Messages sent in the context of a “Family Relationship” or “Personal Relationship,” are also exempt.  In this case, “family” means individuals related by marriage, common-law partnership or a legal parent-child relationship and a personal relationship typically means individuals who have had in-person, voluntary, two-way communications where it would be reasonable to conclude that they have a personal relationship.

CASL also contains provisions that permit one commercial electronic message to be sent following a referral by any individual who has an “existing business” or “non-business relationship,” family or personal relationship with the person who sent the message and that discloses the name of individual that made the referral and the fact that the message is sent as a result of the referral.

So, what happens if you don’t comply with CASL?

You run the risk of potential significant penalties and lawsuits.  CASL provides for either actual damages or statutory damages of $200 for each violation, up to a maximum of C$ one million/day for individuals and C$10 million/day for corporate entities.  In determining the final amount of damages to award, courts analyze the personal/corporate history of the violator(s), the financial benefit obtained and the nature and scope of the violation(s).  Considering that marketing campaigns may involve millions of CEMs, potential damages under CASL may escalate very quickly. A person can seek to avoid liability for a violation by showing that it/he/she exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the violation, among other common law principles. 

Examples CASL enforcement action over the last couple of years:

  • Compu-Finder

The first notice of a CASL violation involved 3510395 Canada Inc. (doing business as Compu-Finder), which was slapped with an administrative monetary penalty of $1,100,000 for repeatedly sending CEMs without recipients’ consent, as well as sending CEMs without a properly functioning unsubscribe mechanism.

  • PlentyofFish
  • In the second CASL case, PlentyofFish Media Inc. (PoF), the operator of the online dating web site Plenty of Fish, voluntarily entered into an undertaking with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in order to settle several alleged violations of CASL.  These included sending CEMs to registered users of its own web site that contained an unsubscribe mechanism that was not set out “clearly and prominently” and was not able to be “readily performed.”  PoF’s penalty was only $48,000.
  • Porter Airlines

In the third public CASL case, Porter also entered into a voluntary undertaking with the CRTC after Porter was found to have sent CEMs to email addresses for which it was not able to provide proof of consent, as well as sending CEMs that did not provide complete contact information required by CASL. Other CEMs sent by Porter either contained no unsubscribe mechanism or one that was not set out “clearly and prominently”, and there was at least one instance where the unsubscribe mechanism was not given effect within 10 business days as required by CASL. Porter’s penalty was $150,000 and Porter was obliged to take corrective measures such as updating its mailing list and ensuring that its CEMs met form requirements, as well as implementing a compliance program.

Rogers Media Inc.

Rogers Media paid $200,000 as part of an undertaking to resolve alleged violations of CASL. The CRTC’s investigation alleged that Rogers Media failed to comply with various CASL requirements between July 2014 and July 2015.  During this period, the company allegedly sent commercial emails containing an unsubscribe mechanism that did not function properly or which could not be readily performed by the recipient.  In addition, in some instances, the electronic address used to unsubscribe was allegedly not valid for the required minimum of 60 days following the sent message.  Rogers Media also allegedly failed to honour, within 10 business days, requests from some recipients to unsubscribe from receiving future commercial emails. 

Why should you be more concerned about CASL after Canada Day?

As of July 1 of this year, Canadians will also be able to launch private and class action lawsuits to collect damages for violations of CASL.  Because the CASL requirements are so broad, so strict and so easily violated, most people expect to see a flood of CASL-specific class action lawsuits.  The private right of action allows parties to sue for actual and statutory damages. Statutory damages could prove to be quite significant.  If your organization has cyber / privacy liability policies, you may want to determine whether they cover third-party claims, class actions and penalties arising out of privacy/CASL violations.   You may also want to check any applicable directors’ and officers’ liability policies, as they may exclude marketing or privacy violations.

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Community Natural Foods celebrates 40 years

community naturals storeCalgary’s Community Natural Foods (CNF) received a nice early birthday surprise at CHFA West in April.  On the verge of marking its 40th anniversary, Community took home the Brock Elliott Memorial Award for Excellence in Retailing at the CHFA awards ceremony.

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Official opening of Nature’s Emporium newest store

new natures emporiumNature’s Emporium’s new store in Appleby Common, Burlington, ON was formally opened with an illustrious gathering of local dignitaries and senior store staff. 

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Organika opens new eastern distribution facility

Organika has opened a new 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution facility in Scarborough, ON.  “The goal is to increase the consumer experience level through a facility that will provide quicker shipping times,” says Organika’s Aaron Chin. 

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CHFA: “Health Canada listening to industry members, consumers”

by Helen Long, CHFA president

So the question on everyone’s mind lately is, ‘What’s going on with the NHP Regulations?’  As someone involved in this file every day, I’m going to share my thoughts.  To make sure everyone’s on the same page – here’s a brief overview of what’s happened so far. 

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Nature’s Health Products Nelson, B.C.

natures health products ownersTom and Kathy Tarasoff, owners of Nature’s Health Products have managed to carve out their very own niche in Nelson, B.C, not only professionally, but personally too. 

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Fresh start in Bracebridge

muskoka natural foodsMuskoka Natural Foods Market has new owners and  a new expanded home in a busy downtown location.

How do you replace a legend?  How about by creating something legendary in its own right?

This is what happened when two couples bought a well-known health food store from its original owner and then moved it into a high-profile space and created an amazing thing of beauty.

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Avril planning new stores in Sherbrooke, Laval

avrilAvril Supermarché Santé is growing again.   The Quebec-based natural health food retailer has attracted national attention in recent years for the creation of its beautiful stores, and now the company has announced the opening of two more.

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Show buzz, CHFA West

 

A few things that are taking place at CHFA West April 6-9

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Why a project manager?

why a project managerWho is your project manager?” is one of the first questions I ask when I start working with a store on a design project. I’m often given a look that says, “What do you mean?

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Five things you can do to get your customers to buy more often 

dave fuller 1articleMy friend Aaron likes to tell the story about how he arrived at a hotel and how they greeted him at the car. Shortly after, a staff member said, “Aaron, you’re a Manchester United  fan, aren’t you?

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Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

The concept of emotional intelligence is now part of popular culture. Just as we each have an IQ or intelligence quotient that measures cognitive ability, some social scientists say we have an EQ or emotional quotient.

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Natural nasal spray

xlear nasal sprayThe combination of saline and xylitol makes Xlear Nasal Spray the most effective natural nasal spray on the market.  It moisturizes and soothes the nasal passages, and also washes out harmful irritants and contaminants like dust. Xlear effectively alleviates congestion due to allergies, colds, and the flu. Xlear has no rebound effect, and is non-addictive and non-medicated.   
Visit Xlear.com
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Give your brains what they need

 
assured naturals three brainsThe Three Brains line was  created to support the critical relationship between the heart, the gut, and the brain. The kit is designed to support overall mental and cognitive health, while individual products have specific benefits for one or more of the three brains.    
 
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New light cheese reduced in sodium

lancetre cheeseL’Ancêtre is proud to introduce  Le Port-Royal, its new light cheese line that is reduced in sodium!  This new seven per cent m.f. cheese contains 50 per cent less salt than L’Ancêtre Frugal and it is available in three flavours:  garlic & parsley, red & green bell peppers, red bell peppers and jalapeños.  For more info, email info@fromagerieancetre.com
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Gut Health Probiotic

genuine health probioticTrust your gut. Introducing new daily care probiotics done the Genuine Health way!
New advanced gut health probiotic is a multi-strain formula that mimics the  balance of human gut flora with a unique delivery system that guarantees potency - so you feel the difference.
 
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Full Spectrum Curcumin

sisu curcuminThe power of curcumin…now unlocked like never 
before. For the first time, Sisu transforms poorly- absorbed curcumin from a fat-soluble powder to a water-soluble, readily-available liquid extract. Unlike regular powders, Sisu starts with a 95 per cent  curcumin extract, then uses a unique technology to encapsulate it in “water-loving” digestive micelles so it can be readily passed into the blood stream…
optimizing bioavailability and absorption.  One soft gel, once a day –185x better. For more information, call 800/663-4163 or visit sisu.com
 
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Book for business owners

profit yourself healthyCNHR columnist and business coach Dave Fuller has written a book called Profit Yourself Healthy. The book has been designed to help business owners and managers, increase sales and profits, deal with cash flow issues, develop strategies for future expansions,  manage people issues, implement systems, reduce cost overruns, and plan for exit and succession.  For more info, visit unstuckstrategies.com.

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Boost your immune system

enerex black oreganoEnerex Black Oregano is a unique product that  combines two potent remedies of oil of oregano and Black seed oil. Black seed’s unique active ingredients (crystalline nigellone and thymoquinone) complement the wild Mediterranean oregano oil’s carvacol and thymol to provide a high potency blend that also includes vitamins A and D to effectively boost your immune system. www.enerex.ca 
Tel:  604/474-2000, 888/411-1988
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Thermogenic Complex

sisu thermoslim
Keep your customer’s New Year’s resolutions on track with Sisu ThermoSlim Thermogenic Complex. This unique formula combines Svetol brand green coffee bean and chromium picolinate with a selection of supporting ingredients for a broad-spectrum approach to help regulate blood sugar levels, enhance metabolism, and reduce body fat. No stimulant effects, jitters, or other side effects associated with high caffeine intake.  For more information, call 800/663-4163 or visit sisu.com

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CNHR News Podcast

cnhr radio hour

News, Views and Happenings in the world of Canadian Natural Health.

Check out this month's podcast here

Coming Up in the Next Issue...

CHFA West :  February 22-25

Reach your key retail customers in CNHR’s Show Preview Issue.

An early show requires early messaging. Get your Spring sales message out early with an ad in CNHR. Reach the key retailers well before CHFA West. Here’s what your ad can do for you:

• share your spring promotional plan with all retailers

• help your sales team reach sales targets

• introduce your new products BEFORE the show

• tell retailers about your show specials early

• help open doors for your sales team

• create traffic at your booth

• solidify brand loyalty

• tell retailers about your new services, too!

• support all of your in-store, digital and consumer marketing efforts

Advertisers: FREE value-added features As an advertiser, you’ll be in one of our biggest issues of the year. (There will be loads of bonus circulation during CHFA West.) Along with your ad being viewed by more than 10,000 owners, managers, buyers, product recommenders and floor sales staff, you also get some great free editorial opportunities, including Trade Talk, Product Profiles and Pre-Show Buzz. Here are the details: Trade Talk is one of the highest read sections of CNHR and your vital link with retailers. Keep current and potential new customers updated on your new products, new staff, new website, new promotions, etc. Deadline for Trade Talk: November 7

We have lots of advertising options at many price points. Tell me what ad size you’re considering or what your budget is, and I will personally customize a proposal just for you. I’ll explain all of the value-added features CNHR has to offer your company!

Please contact:     donna@cnhr.ca, candace@cnhr.ca, katherine@cnhr.ca

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Watch here for Job Postings, Wanted Ads, For Hire, etc. To add, contact Donna

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