Understanding the Essence of CASL Through the Survey Report Released by Fasken Martineau and DMAC

Fasken Martineau and DMAC

The First-Ever CASL Survey Report clarifies anti-spam compliance strategies and programs.

Fasken Martineau in collaboration with the Direct Marketing Association of Canada (DMAC) has launched the outcome of the first-ever CASL (Canada’s anti-spam legislation) Survey Report. The report gives a clear picture of how organizations comprehend CASL and comply with its terms and conditions when it comes to implementing effective strategies and programs.

The report aims at assisting businesses and companies to apprehend the common barriers in acknowledging and accepting CASL compliance. According to the report, over 80% of applicants were either “extremely involved” or “very involved” in the design and implementation of their organization’s CASL strategy.

The report also reflects the gap between how organizations understand CASL and what measures they have adopted to comply with the regulations. Additionally, it shows that even being in force for three years, the key elements of the CASL laws are still not fully understood or implemented.

“Some organizations have a lot of work to do. It could end up being very costly if they do not take adequate steps to satisfy CASL’s requirements and implement an appropriate compliance program,” said Andrew Nunes, Partner and Vice Chair of the Technology Law group in the Toronto office of Fasken Martineau.

Derek Lackey
Derek Lackey, President of DMAC


Derek Lackey, President of DMAC, said, “After three years of CASL, there is still significant confusion about what the law requires. Record keeping is an issue many organizations struggle with. Fortunately, there are applications and organizations with skills and expertise that can assist to shepherd you into CASL compliance.”

Daniel Fabiano
Daniel Fabiano, Partner at Fasken Martineau


According to Daniel Fabiano, Partner at Fasken Martineau, “With the looming private right of action taking effect on July 1, 2017, the public will join the CRTC as another source of CASL enforcement, which will significantly increase exposure to liability.”

The key findings of the CASL Survey Report

  • 23% of respondents did not appreciate that “express consent” can only be obtained using an opt-in mechanism
  • 64% of respondents did not appreciate that a CASL-compliant message requires more than just consent and a working unsubscribe mechanism
  • 63% of respondents were unaware that the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications )can impose an AMP (administrative monetary penalty) of up to $10,000,000 for each violation of the CASL
  • 30% of respondents did not appreciate the fact that directors could be personally liable for CASL violations, and 40% did not appreciate that officers can be held personally liable for this
  • 46% of respondents were unaware that an organization could be liable for statutory damages under CASL
  • 64% of respondents stated that their organizations did not have (or didn’t know if they had) a formal written CASL policy
  • 63% of respondents stated that their organizations do not require personnel to undergo CASL training
  • 60% of respondents indicated that their organization does not audit for CASL compliance


The survey output clearly indicates that most companies who assume that they are compliant still have a long way to go. Organizations from all sectors and of all sizes must undergo necessary and consistent changes in order to achieve significant progress in this matter.

According to the survey demographics, over 200 participants represented a broad range of industries, with 21% working in the financial services industry and 77% at for-profit organizations. As reported, E-marketing was a significant part of the marketing strategy for 60% of responders.


Also Read: Digital Marketing for B2b Startups

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