Canada’s new Anti-Spam law and you

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You may already know, but the Canadian Government has recently introduced a new bill called: FISA, the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act (Bill C-28).

The bill is aimed at bad senders and spammers but it will affect anyone who is using electronic messaging for marketing in or to Canada.

What is FISA (Bill C-28)?

FISA, the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act (Bill C-28) introduced by the Canadian government in May, 20101, will establish important new requirements for anyone using electronic messaging for marketing in Canada.

FISA will apply to any form of electronic message sent for marketing purposes (referred to as a “Commercial Electronic Message”, or “CEM”), including: email, SMS, instant messaging and social media/networking.

FISA also addresses Internet marketing challenges such as malware, phishing, pharming and other Internet threats.

Does this affect me?

Anyone sending a CEM (Commercial Electronic Message) to or from Canada is subject to FISA. Canadian and international organisations sending to Canadians are required to comply with the bill.

Who a marketer can send mail to

Marketers can send email to anyone who has given explicit consent. Consent may also be implied in one of the following circumstances:

  1. There is an existing business or non-business relationship between the sender and the recipient of the message
  2. The recipient has published their address in a conspicuous manner, and the message is related to the recipient’s professional capacity;
  3. The recipient has provided their electronic address directly to the sender, and the message is related to the recipient’s professional capacity.

Explicit consent exists when the recipient provides the sender permission to send messages.

What needs to be in all email messages?

  • The identity of the person who is sending the email message.
  • If the email is being sent on someone’s behalf other than the sender, the name of that person needs to be included.
  • Company name
  • Company contact information
  • Easy method of contacting the sender of the message
  • An unsubscribe mechanism

What marketers need to do to accommodate recipients who wish to unsubscribe

Marketers must maintain clear and conspicuous unsubscribe procedures within the email and honor requests for unsubscribing within 10 business days of the request.

Marketers must also provide a method for email recipients to easily contact the person(s) responsible for sending the message. This method must be active for 60 days from the day the email was sent.

Please click the following link to get your copy of ‘The Marketer’s Guide to Applying FISA’

About Craig Loynes

Marketing Manager at Emailcenter, the UK's largest independent ESP. Connect with +Craig Loynes on Google+ or follow on for more email marketing insights.