Is your e-message marketing bordering on spam? Get informed.

Time to get informed, especially if e-messages are a major player in your marketing toolbox. What am I talking about? There was a bill passed by the Canadian Parliament that received Royal Assent on December 15, 2010. This bill’s purpose is to enact the “Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act (FISA)”, Bill-C28. At its most basic face value, Bill-C28 prohibits sending commercial electronic messages without prior consent of the recipient, and outlines rules around how such messages are to be sent, including the requirement of a mechanism for the withdrawal of consent. According to lawyers, Bill-C28 should be in force by the summer.


It appears that the days of care-free marketing through bulk e-messages is being limited, and I must say I think it’s for the better. Many of us are all too familiar with the bulk e-messages promoting this or that deal, and we wonder how did I get on that e-mailing list? Then you look over the entire e-mail only to find the ‘unsubscribe’ option is conveniently non-existent. Great.


Based on the articles I have read and from scanning Bill-C28 itself, it is quickly noticeable that the Bill has been written in a broad sense, so much so that it easily permits the Bill to apply to many technical forms of mass communication. Looks like organizations will need to ensure their marketing and technical departments are up to speed on the ins-and-outs of Bill-C28 and ensure they are in compliance. The key focus being on attaining ‘consent’.


A point made in one of the articles I read got me thinking. An area of vagueness in Bill-C28 relates to the term ‘consent’. Why? Because it doesn’t necessarily mean ‘explicit consent’. How often do you read the end notes/fine print of agreements whether signing up online for free data or webinars or any other endless system that sends you to pages of endless ‘terms and conditions” you are agreeing too. I am sure this is where many have buried the consent agreement. Meaning that if you don’t agree, aka give consent, then you cannot access their supposedly free material.  Interesting.


I am interested in seeing how Bill-C28 rolls out and tracks its level of success. Yes, it is a step at trying to control the burgeoning of mass e-message marketing in Canada…the untouched area of grey still remains in the fact that mass e-message marketing is globally adopted, what are the chances that Non-Canadian organizations will abided by Bill-C28? Time will tell.


What’s you take on Bill-C28?

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