New Canada Spam Law July 1st -- $10,000,000 Fine

31 replies
Canada has a new spam law starting July 1st. If you're sending e-mails to residents of Canada, then it applies to you. ( A $10 million fine for sending an email? Tips to navigate CASL Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL) To Take Effect on July 1, 2014 | Elite Email Blog )

The E-mail I Sent To AWeber Support

Hi,

I hope you're doing well today.

Will AWeber be providing a solution to the new Canada spam law on July 1st?

Thanks,

Jason Parker
ES3 Marketing LLC

The E-mail I Got Back From AWeber Support

Dear Jason,

Thank you for contacting AWeber's support team and I would
be happy to assist you. AWeber is compliant with the US Federal
Can Spam Act and at this time there are no immediate changes
that would be placed within the system.

If you wanted to read information on the US Federal Can Spam
Act that AWeber is compliant with, please see the following URL:

CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business | BCP Business Center

If you have other questions, please let us know.

Regards,
Joe H
Customer Solutions Specialist
AWeber Communications, Inc.

The E-mail I Sent To GetResponse Support

Hi,

I hope you're doing well today.

Will GetResponse be providing a solution to the new Canada spam law on July
1st?

Thanks,

Jason Parker
ES3 Marketing LLC

The E-mail I Got Back From GetResponse Support

Hello Jason,

Thank you for contacting GetResponse.

GetResponse is a permission based email marketing
platform and we are compliant with international
legislation regarding email senders.
Our anti-spam policies contain CASL rulings and
we take much effort to keep GetResponse spam
and spammers free environment.

When it comes to details of CASL:
- information regarding sender is kept in footer of
every email,
- we implement easy in use unsubscribe mechanism,
- we recommend using double opt-in subscription
method with webforms and API integrations,
- we automatically take care of unsubscribes, complaints
and bounces.

Please let us known if you have any more questions
regarding this topic.

Best regards,

Marta Pludowska
Customer Success Team
GetResponse.com

The E-mail I Sent To SendReach's Support

Hi,

I hope you're doing well today.

Will SendReach be providing a solution to the new Canada spam law on July
1st?

Thanks,

Jason Parker
ES3 Marketing LLC

The E-mail I Got Back From SendReach's Support

Hi Jason,

So far as I am aware, SendReach complies fully with the law you are referring to.

If you think not, please give me a link to an official website on the subject, and the paragraph number that refers so that I can check

Best Regards

John Whittingham | Customer Services Manager
SendReach.com

The Reply I Sent Back To SendReach

Hi John.

I'm just making sure we're in compliance when July 1st comes around.

I guess I'm just looking to the major AR companies to see what must be done, if anything.

Thanks for the reply.

Best,

Jason
ES3 Marketing LLC

No reply from SendReach

Conversation From One Of My Facebook Groups

Damien Mather
June 11 at 5:26pm
Just wondering what people are doing about their Canadian subs come July 1st?
Is there a solution yet to their new email laws? Will we still be ok emailing our subs if they subscribed?
LikeLike ·
3 people like this.

Matt Bacak I'm just not targeting Canada anymore in any of my online advertising.
June 11 at 5:28pm · Unlike · 2

Tim Castleman Subject line: Yo Canada, F*%k off <--- I'll be using that July 1st
June 11 at 5:31pm · Like · 2

Tim Castleman Actually I'll split test that with Attn Canadian Citizens, Leave now
June 11 at 5:32pm · Like

Mark Deaton What are the new laws?
June 11 at 5:39pm · Like

Matt Bacak A $10 million fine for sending an email? Tips to navigate CASL
June 11 at 5:41pm · Like

Mark Deaton Dam, can canada really impose and collect a 10 million dollar fine? How do I purge m6 canadian data from a weber? Im sure aweber and others will help us comply???
June 11 at 5:47pm · Like

Matt Bacak Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Canadian Email Marketing
June 11 at 5:48pm · Like

Ralph Smith 10 mil Canadian is like what 2 buttons?
June 11 at 6:18pm · Like · 1

Cynthia Carpenter Two buttons and a sheep Ralph - $10M eh? No worries, just put that on my AMEX...
June 11 at 6:51pm · Like

Ralph Smith I figured with the US Dollar pegged somewhere between lard and human waste the Canadian dollar had at least a couple of buttons.
June 11 at 7:29pm · Like

Justin Wells Read a couple articles, unless I'm missing something the only big deal is the pre-checked boxes for signups are no longer allowed.
June 11 at 9:39pm · Like · 1

Damien Mather All it would take is a Canadian to think your subject line is not accurate and bam! Your in hot water and bankrupt! There goes 20% of my list.
June 12 at 1:23am · Like

Justin Wells This all makes me want to get a percentage of everyone's Canadian subscribers or otherwise target Canadians. If everyone's giving up on Canada, then there's a huge opportunity and likely lower ad costs.
June 12 at 12:19pm · Like · 1

Cynthia Carpenter It will be interesting. For the most part we aren't a particularly litigious lot. Although there are the exceptions.
It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. If my future is bankruptcy and jail so-be-it!
Always an adventure - Orange is the New Black you know
June 12 at 12:25pm · Like

Jason Parker Here's what AWeber said when I asked them if they were working on a solution for it:

Dear Jason,

Thank you for contacting AWeber's support team and I would
be happy to assist you. AWeber is compliant with the US Federal
Can Spam Act and at this time there are no immediate changes
that would be placed within the system.

If you wanted to read information on the US Federal Can Spam
Act that AWeber is compliant with, please see the following URL:

http://business.ftc.gov/.../bus61-ca...act-Compliance...

If you have other questions, please let us know.

Regards,
Joe H
Customer Solutions Specialist
AWeber Communications, Inc.

==========================

And here's what SendReach said:

Hi Jason,

So far as I am aware, SendReach complies fully with the law you are referring to.

If you think not, please give me a link to an official website on the subject, and the paragraph number that refers so that I can check

Best Regards

John Whittingham | Customer Services RenoLabs JV

==========================

I haven't heard back from GetResponse yet.

CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business | BCP Business Center
BCP Business Center
Do you use email in your business? The CAN-SPAM Act establishes requirements for...See More
June 12 at 5:15pm · Like · 1 · Remove Preview

Ben Solomon Hey guys, I was initially thinking that using double opt-in might be enough, but looking at the various articles, it looks like there has to be some sort of explicit check box to be ticked. Now, in looking at various squeeze pages, the only one I've fo...See More
June 12 at 8:53pm · Like

Jason Parker GetResponse's reply:

Hello Jason,...See More
June 17 at 10:03am · Like · 2

Roy Jones Am I reading this article correct?>>Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL) To Take Effect on July 1, 2014 | Elite Email Blog
If so then that means starting July 2017 any Canadian can take any marketer to court on a law suit. Their court system is going to get buried with BS law suits.
1 hr · Like

This isn't legal advice. Hell, I'm trying to figure out the best course of action myself. And that's why I posted this.
#$10 #1st #canada #fine #july #law #spam
  • Profile picture of the author awledd
    $10 million? what kind of fine is that? Maybe this doesn't concern me b/c I am in the other part of the world. Ha
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    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
      Originally Posted by awledd View Post

      $10 million? what kind of fine is that? Maybe this doesn't concern me b/c I am in the other part of the world. Ha
      If you blast e-mail to people in Canada, it does.
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  • Profile picture of the author BizQ
    I'm not seeing why this is a big deal if you use double opt-in lists and comply with the US CAN SPAM law that has been around for years.

    The only thing I raise my eyebrows at is the "social networking account" because that could be interpreted many ways and with the way people use Twitter and @ people....I don't know.

    Otherwise, I am not seeing the big hoopla.
    • All commercial electronic messages (CEMs) sent to an email address, social networking account, or a cell number must have the recipient's consent.
    • The burden of proof will be on the sender, not the recipient, of the message.
    • Every CEM must identify the sender, show a valid mailing and email address, and include an opt out function at no cost to the consumer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    CASL page. FAQs - Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation

    CASL is nearly identical to CAN-SPAM EXCEPT this part...

    Consent

    There are three general requirements for sending the CEM to an electronic address. You need (1) consent, (2) identification information and (3) an unsubscribe mechanism. The questions under this heading relate to the first requirement, namely consent. There are two types of consent under CASL - express and implied.

    Can I use pre-checked boxes in order to obtain express consent?

    The manner in which you request express consent cannot presume consent on the part of the end-user. Silence or inaction on the part of the end-user also cannot be construed as providing express consent. For example, a pre-checked box cannot be used, as it assumes consent.

    Rather, express consent must be obtained through an opt-in mechanism, as opposed to opt-out. The end-user must take a positive action to indicate their consent. For example, this can be done by providing a blank box which a user can check off to indicate consent.
    "Express consent" puts us in a tough place. We can no longer throw Canadians on a list without telling them they're on a list. So no more "give me your email to read the ebook" while you broadcast daily with a solo ad.

    Now it's "give me your email to read the book" along with an unchecked box that says "send me your daily newsletter" or whatever. They must "check" the box to provide express consent before you can broadcast the solo ads.

    Edit: The checkbox appears to be necessary according to this page.

    JVZoo, WarriorPlus, etc and all payment platforms that optin customers to lists automatically need to pay close attention to this new law. Pre-checking boxes isn't allowed under CASL.
    Signature

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    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
      Originally Posted by Jesus Perez View Post

      One thing remains unclear. Is the checkbox necessary on the frontend? Or can the double optin confirmation link make the disclosure with text? These are the answers no one has been able to provide.
      Double optin could be used just to confirm getting your freebie, for example. So I don't know.

      If all it took were double optin, then you could have one of those "get your free ebook" squeeze pages, then have the prospect click a link in an email to get it--with no mention of the newsletter.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
        Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

        Double optin could be used just to confirm getting your freebie, for example. So I don't know.

        If all it took were double optin, then you could have one of those "get your free ebook" squeeze pages, then have the prospect click a link in an email to get it--with no mention of the newsletter.
        Form what I've gathered, you are correct. Double optin is not enough for CASL. I can easily double optin to a freebie and never disclose the newsletter.

        This page explains that the checkbox is necessary before mailing newsletters to Canadians. There must be express consent before opting in. Notice how the example below breaks out ALL the different consents into separate checkboxes. You cannot hide consent inside the TOS, for example.



        Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

        I wish the 3rd party ARs would allow you to block sending e-mails to Canada based on IP and e-mail address at the click of a button. Click button. No Canadians get your e-mails. Doesn't matter if they find your opt-in forms through Google or social media if you're not even targeting them. And all is well.
        There's an easy solution to this.

        Create 2 optin pages.
        One for CA, one for US.
        CA gets the checkbox, US doesn't.
        Use a geo-redirect plugin on your landing pages to send the traffic to the correct location.

        I'll sit back while everyone scrambles to launch a WSO about this technique.
        Signature

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        • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
          Originally Posted by Jesus Perez View Post

          Form what I've gathered, you are correct. Double optin is not enough for CASL. I can easily double optin to a freebie and never disclose the newsletter.

          This page explains that the checkbox is necessary before mailing them. There must be express consent before opting in. Notice how the example below breaks out ALL the different consents into separate checkboxes.

          That's what I thought based on all the examples I've seen.

          Question is... What to do about the Canadians who are already on your list. And what to do on squeeze pages you have that aren't set up for Canadians and can be found by Canadians anyway through search engines and social media.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
            Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

            That's what I thought based on all the examples I've seen.

            Question is... What to do about the Canadians who are already on your list.
            I was already hired by a very large company to solve this problem. You need to segment and mail all the Canadians separately. Aweber/GR capture the IP at signup which will help you identify your Canadians. Then you'll need to opt them in again with the checkbox. Whoever doesn't optin gets re-mailed until June 30th. On July 1st, non-responders get deleted.

            Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

            And what to do on squeeze pages you have that aren't set up for Canadians and can be found by Canadians anyway through search engines and social media.
            An IP redirect will take care of curious CA visitors trying to access US pages.

            WordPress - WP GeoIP Country Redirect | CodeCanyon
            Signature

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            • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
              Originally Posted by Jesus Perez View Post

              I was already hired by a very large company to solve this problem. You need to segment and mail all the Canadians separately. Aweber/GR capture the IP at signup which will help you identify your Canadians. Then you'll need to opt them in again with the checkbox. Whoever doesn't optin gets re-mailed until June 30th. On July 1st, non-responders get deleted.



              An IP redirect will take care of curious CA visitors trying to access US pages.

              WordPress - WP GeoIP Country Redirect | CodeCanyon
              Cool Jesus. Thanks
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              • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
                Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

                Cool Jesus. Thanks
                No probs!

                On a separate note, I feel bad for the shady solo ad providers out there. All their questionable subject lines and "from" addresses are putting them at huge risk if they don't prepare.
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                • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
                  Originally Posted by Jesus Perez View Post

                  No probs!

                  On a separate note, I feel bad for the shady solo ad providers out there. All their questionable subject lines and "from" addresses are putting them at huge risk if they don't prepare.
                  No doubt.

                  I need to figure out how to do GEO IP redirect with html landing pages as well as WP...
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    I wish the 3rd party ARs would allow you to block sending e-mails to Canada based on IP and e-mail address at the click of a button. Click button. No Canadians get your e-mails. Doesn't matter if they find your opt-in forms through Google or social media if you're not even targeting them. And all is well.
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  • Profile picture of the author awledd
    Pls forward the unwanted Canadian email addresses. I will blast email promotions. Just kidding. But do you guys think if a marketer is in USA and if the mail receiver is in Canada, can the law be enforced on a US citizen? In this case It doesn't seem to apply on US citizens .
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    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
      Originally Posted by awledd View Post

      Pls forward the unwanted Canadian email addresses. I will blast email promotions. Just kidding. But do you guys think if a marketer is in USA and if the mail receiver is in Canada, can the law be enforced on a US citizen? In this case It doesn't seem to apply on US citizens .
      Yes, it applies to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
      Originally Posted by awledd View Post

      Pls forward the unwanted Canadian email addresses. I will blast email promotions. Just kidding. But do you guys think if a marketer is in USA and if the mail receiver is in Canada, can the law be enforced on a US citizen? In this case It doesn't seem to apply on US citizens .
      YES!

      Because the CASL protects people and computers located in Canada, it is intended to apply to businesses located in the U.S. if the recipient of the message or download is located in Canada. This will potentially complicate business processes for American companies with cross-border customers.
      Tough New Canadian Anti-Spam Law Will Affect American Businesses - Wiley Rein LLP
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      • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
        I'm in the US too.

        Canada is about 5% of my lists. So it's not a massive hit. But, already having lists with Canadians on them, there are no easy solutions for making sure you comply.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
          Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

          I'm in the US too.

          Canada is about 5% of my lists. So it's not a massive hit. But, already having lists with Canadians on them, there are no easy solutions for making sure you comply.
          In GetResponse, they capture the "Country". You can filter and segment in seconds.

          Signature

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          • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
            Originally Posted by Jesus Perez View Post

            In GetResponse, they capture the "Country". You can filter and segment in seconds.

            I was just messing with it in GetResponse and yes it's easy. It's easy in AWeber too.

            So I guess my plan so far is 2-fold:

            1. Put in place some kind of redirect at the server level that redirects CA visitors to CA-compliant page

            2. Filter and segment all CA addresses in AWeber and GetResponse and delete
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Jason,

    If I remember correctly you used to use an ebizac autoresponder, too. Do you still, and if so, did you contact them?

    Thanks.
    Signature

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      Jason,

      If I remember correctly you used to use an ebizac autoresponder, too. Do you still, and if so, did you contact them?

      Thanks.
      I tried it out. I wasn't running very high "quality" leads there so I couldn't tell you much about how good the service is. I was testing some new traffic sources and stuff with it. I no longer use it, but I had a good experience with the guy who runs it.

      I use AWeber, GR, and Send Reach, though, and that's enough for me, I guess. I grabbed a lifetime SendReach account before they went month-to-month, and that was when AWeber and GR were going through those DDOS attacks. So I figured I needed a 3rd one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bryan Harkins
    I am trying to figure out what to do as well! It's funny because it doesn't seem like any of the major companies you emailed really gave you much help haha.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    One thing I'm not clear about is how to handle Canadian buyers. Normally buyers get added automatically to the buyers list. Not sure if that's against the new CASL law.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dr Alex
      Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

      One thing I'm not clear about is how to handle Canadian buyers. Normally buyers get added automatically to the buyers list. Not sure if that's against the new CASL law.
      For those who have gotten buyers through product purchases, there is a temporary "two year rule" (look in the comments below to see how this works). However if someone purchases you cannot simply add them automatically - with CASL you will no longer be able to add automatically or have pre-checked boxes. You can send a confirmation email to let people know that their purchase has been processed, but in order to send them any more emails you need to have their consent. You can have boxes for your customers or leave an invitation to subscribe in the purchase confirmation email, but you cannot automatically add subscribers (at least not from Canada).
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  • Profile picture of the author Bildeberg
    What I don't get that doesn't seem to have been discussed here is does the consent *have to* be in the form of a checkbox?

    I mean, if I have a double optin squeeze page that says "Enter your email below to get commercial email newsletters from us!" then surely entering their email would be express consent, right? It's actually taken *more* conscious choice from them, rather than just ticking a checkbox.

    So if my squeeze is shown to *everyone* regardless of country, and is a page that says "Get the Ebook and email updates from us:" and has an email field, then surely that's the same thing with no checkbox required, right?

    If what I've said above is true, then really, this law only affects people who are adding names to lists for commercial mailouts without telling them, which is as it should be anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ghoster
    "Will AWeber be providing a solution to the new Canada spam law on July 1st?"

    This phrasing is interesting. What "solution" do you want? One that would violate the law? These laws are in place because people are sick of being spammed.
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    On the whole, you get what you pay for.

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  • Profile picture of the author Highway55
    Just got the update from my affiliate co. No more email marketing accepted for Canadian offers. Oh, well, that's done...
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    With A Multiple Sales Conversion Guarantee!

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  • Profile picture of the author IMMer1975
    I'm rather failing to see how this affects anybody but people and companies inside Canada, or at most, large multi-national corporations that have offices in Canada. It strikes me as another example of well intended legislation falling way short of the intended result.

    Let's say I'm the US. I send email to people in Canada that violates their highly ambiguous spam legislation. And now they want to sue me.

    First, they need to get jurisdiction over me. Good luck with that. The long arm statute simply isn't going to apply. And besides jurisdiction, the next topic will be choice of law, which likely means they're not getting to apply their own spam law.

    If you're a multi national corporation, sure, you don't want judgement against your Canadian subsidiaries. If you're an internet marketer outside of Canada that happens to have 5% of your list in Canada, what are they really going to do?

    I'm not advocating spam, of course, just saying this law is another example of idiocy at the government level that will end up hurting Canadian business more than it protects Canadian consumers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cyberdetective
    What’s not being as widely reported is that while CASL takes effect on July 1, businesses actually have a three-year grace period to convert people on their lists from implied consent to express consent. And those sky-high fines are unlikely to be handed down in a heavy-handed manner by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which is tasked with enforcing complaints. Warnings for innocent violations, especially in the case of small businesses, are more likely.

    If you’re compliant with the UK anti-spam legislation, you would also be considered compliant with the Canadian anti-spam legislation. It’s a bit of a red-tap reduction measure.

    It would be almost impossible for them to impose these sanctions on someone resident outside of Canada, as long as they comply with the anti-spam laws of the country they are resident. Only major crime would result in extradition, normal compliant marketers would not be affected and would be dealt with under the laws of the country of origin. Only if that countries spam laws were violated.

    Regards
    CD
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    So what's the status? Do most of you delete away your Canadian subscribers?

    Now what if you received a Canadian subscriber who subscribes to your list when he/she is in USA and you send emails to them when they are back in Canada, that be a problem right?
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  • Profile picture of the author Giovanni Puma
    Whats the update now?
    Signature

    head over to www.entiver.com
    for a Free Consultation for a private membership portal + Custom optimized Funnel

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  • Profile picture of the author telewarrior
    Hi,

    At the FAQ address (Frequently Asked Questions about Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation) is says:

    'Under section 66, consent to send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) is implied for a period of 36 months beginning July 1, 2014, where there is an existing business or non-business relationship that includes the communication of CEMs. One-way communication for CEMs (e.g. where a business sends CEMs to a consumer with whom it has an existing relationship) is acceptable for the purpose of subsection 66(b), “includes the communication between them of CEMs”. Note however, that this three-year period of implied consent will end if the recipient indicates that they no longer consent to receiving CEMs.'

    So I'd propose that once they optin then you have three years minus July 2014 to keep sending them implied consent solicitations for other offers since newsletters and offers are "communications" and an optin seems to constitute a commercial relationship.

    But then again I may be reading that wrong and it is a FAQ,

    Brett
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