CASL Strikes Again as the CRTC Collects First Fine


Earlier this month the CRTC, the body tasked with upholding Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL), levied the first notice of violation and penalty against B2B mailer Compu-Finder, alleging violations including scraping addresses and failure to provide an unsubscribe method.

Yesterday, the CRTC continued its busy month with the announcement of a fine collected from Plentyoffish Media in the amount of $48,000. According to the press release, the fine was due to “an unsubscribe mechanism that was not clearly and prominently set out, and which could not be readily performed.” The CRTC asserts that Plentyoffish cooperated with the agency after being notified of the issue, leading most to presume that the amount of the fine was mitigated by that cooperation.

Possibly the most notable point in the announcement is that Plentyoffish was sending email to registered users, and it appears they did include an unsubscribe mechanism. However, the unsubscribe was not compliant with the requirements set forth by CASL. While the notice does not explicitly state how the unsubscribe method was non-compliant, it is likely the link was not prominently displayed in the message, or it may have required the user to take additional steps to process an unsubscribe.

The most important takeaway is stated quite eloquently by Manon Bombardier, the CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer:

This case is an important reminder to businesses that they need to review their unsubscribe mechanisms to ensure they are clearly and prominently set out and can be readily performed.

If you haven’t already checked out your unsubscribe method, now is the time! If you’re unsure where to start, the CRTC provides some insight on the unsubscribe requirements here.

– Brad Gurley



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