FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: CANADIAN ANTI-SPAM LEGISLATION (CASL):
Updated July 2015




  • What is CASL?
  • Does CASL affect Marketwired and Marketwired clients?
  • My business is not located in Canada.  Does CASL affect me?
  • Does Marketwired practice CASL compliance?
  • Does CASL negatively impact the ability of Marketwired clients to satisfy regulatory disclosure in Canada?
  • How can Marketwired assist clients with ensuring their private distribution lists are CASL-compliant?
  • How can Marketwired assist clients with ensuring their purchased lists are CASL-compliant?
  • How will CASL impact Marketwired’s distribution?
  • I’m a HOTW subscriber. By opting in, will I continue to receive news releases filtered by my preferences, or I will receive all news releases distributed by Marketwired?
  • I have more questions. Who can I speak to?


What is CASL?

CASL is Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation, which took effect July 1, 2014. The legislation includes a strict opt-in model that applies to B2B email messaging, meaning recipients must proactively agree to receive email from businesses, commonly known as an 'express consent' model. Conversely, US-based businesses and recipients are familiar with an opt-out model whereby people can opt-out or unsubscribe to stop receiving unwanted email.


Does CASL affect Marketwired and Marketwired clients?

Yes. Because much of Marketwired's business involves email distribution – both the distribution of news releases to media and private-list recipients in Canada and worldwide, and distribution of marketing messages to customers and prospects – we are directly impacted by CASL. For businesses that do not operate according to the new regulations after July 1, 2014, the penalties can be severe, with fines up to $1,000,000 for individuals and $10,000,000 for businesses.

Marketwired has a CASL Compliance Committee that proactively works to ensure our processes and infrastructure remain CASL-compliant so that we can continue to provide our customers with the distribution excellence they have trusted for more than 30 years.


My business is not located in Canada.  Does CASL affect me?

It can. CASL compliance is dependent on where the recipient lives, not where the sender is located. Quite simply, if you are sending news via email to a Canadian-based recipient, you must be CASL-compliant. It doesn't matter whether you are based in Calgary, California or Cardiff – all email sent via Marketwired to Canadian recipients must be CASL-compliant.  


Is Marketwired CASL compliant?

Marketwired's core business is news distribution and we work diligently to help ensure our distribution is CASL-compliant. This includes direct-to-media distribution (newslines and newsfeeds) as well as distribution on behalf of our clients who send news and information to their private lists of email recipients.

Our in-house Media Team does ongoing outreach to solicit express consent from media across Canada. Our 30-year history as a news distributor has fostered strong connections and longstanding relationships with many of the country's media organizations and our relationship with the Canadian media continues to be strong, coast to coast.

Our relationship with The Canadian Press provides our clients with distinct advantages, including exclusive delivery of news releases on the same network used to deliver The Canadian Press news copy directly into the editorial systems and desktops of journalists at nearly 600 daily newspapers, radio & TV stations across Canada; not via email.

To assist our clients who use our private list services to distribute news, Marketwired can send opt-in email requests to all recipients that reside in our clients' private lists. It's important to note, however, that maintenance of CASL-compliant proprietary email lists is the responsibility of our clients. For more detail on how you can partner with us to promote opt-in among your list recipients, please contact your Marketwired representative.


Does CASL negatively impact the ability of Marketwired clients to satisfy regulatory disclosure in Canada?

No. Our clients can be assured that they continue to meet full and fair regulatory disclosure in Canada via our disclosure distribution options.


How can Marketwired assist clients with ensuring their private distribution lists are CASL-compliant?

CASL means that we need to make changes to how you work with us to manage and distribute to your company's private email lists. We can help in your efforts to ensure the lists you own are CASL-compliant, and that the lists you provide to us contain only those recipients who have opted-in to receive your company news and information. We also require your assistance in determining the geographic location of all of your private email list recipients. If we do not know the geographic location of your email recipients, then we cannot distribute to those recipients.

Many of our clients have already built CASL-compliant email lists, but it can be an onerous and confusing process. The most efficient means of updating your private lists is to contact your recipients seeking their consent to continue to receive your news.

Marketwired has a proprietary database to capture your private list recipients in a CASL-compliant manner. Specifically, our database: (1) allows recipients to agree (opt-in) to receive your news; (2) captures the appropriate information (i.e., full name, email address, etc.); and (3) archives the date of the opt-in activity.

You are encouraged to share the link to our database with your private list recipients. Once they opt-in to receive your news and their information is stored within our systems, Marketwired can distribute your news to them safely, and in compliance with CASL.

Marketwired’s CASL-compliance subscription
database:  https://go.marketwire.com/public/ConsentForm.aspx

*Note: If you have questions about CASL compliance, and the specific way in which your business needs to operate to remain compliant, Marketwired encourages you to consult with your legal counsel for guidance.


How can Marketwired assist clients with ensuring purchased distribution lists are CASL-compliant?

For our clients who purchase lists via Mediahub, there are specific ways in which you distribute company information to those recipients in order for you and your company to be in compliance with CASL.

After July 1, 2014, all Canadian-based media recipients on all email distribution lists must have previously expressed consent to receive your news – they must have opted-in. Mediahub lists you purchase from Marketwired are static in nature, and as a result, a list purchased in May 2014, but used for distribution after July 1, 2014, may contain recipients who have not opted-in to receive your news.

For our clients who have purchased Mediahub lists that are intended for use for distribution after July 1, we strongly encourage you to contact us to purchase a new, CASL-compliant list. You should not use previously purchased lists after July 1, 2014, as they may not be CASL-compliant.

Marketwired's Media Team is continuously working to ensure CASL compliance from the thousands of Canadian-based media contacts in our database, and as a result, after July 1, 2014, Mediahub only contains data that is CASL-compliant. So you can rest assured that your distribution, and any purchased media lists, will be compliant.


How will CASL impact Marketwired’s distribution?

Our Media Team is dedicated to making direct connections with the media recipients on our newslines and in our databases.

It is worth repeating that distribution is Marketwired's core business, and has been for 30+ years. We strive to build the most effective and accurate media lists for our clients so that they can reach the audiences they need to. We provide subscription-based services like Personal Beat and Hot Off the Wire so that media, analysts and investors can opt-in to the specific news of interest to them, and our clients can be assured that their news is reaching the right influencers (and is CASL-compliant).

I’m a HOTW subscriber. By opting in, will I continue to receive news releases filtered by my preferences, or I will receive all news releases distributed by Marketwired?

By opting in, you will continue to receive news releases based on your subscription preferences; you will not receive all communications from Marketwired.

I have more questions. Who can I speak to?

Talk to your Marketwired account representative for more details about CASL, and its potential effects on your distribution. You can also reach out directly to our Media Team (MediaRelations.US@marketwired.com) with specific questions.