Kellogg Canada Inc. has a long history operating in Canada. The CRTC alleged that Kellogg sent commercial electronic messages during a period of October 2014 through December 2014 without the consent of the recipients of the messages. It is noteworthy that the allegation included work that may have been carried out by Kellogg's third-party service providers.
Unfortunately, as has been the case with the past two years of enforcement actions under Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL), very few details were made public and as a result organizations do not benefit from the availability of more detailed legal analysis and interpretations as they seek to navigate this complex and ambiguous law. What was published was that Kellogg entered into an undertaking which included payment of $60,000.
The undertaking also included a commitment to require third-party message service providers to comply with CASL.
Kellogg's compliance program will include updating written policies and procedures for compliance, training of staff as well as monitoring and audit provisions to assess compliance. A tracking program to focus on complaints regarding commercial electronic messages and the resolution of such complaints is also reported to be an element of the compliance program.
The CRTC reported that the undertaking and payment resolves all outstanding issues with respect to non-compliance alleged against Kellogg and its subsidiaries under CASL.
As has been the case with most recent enforcement action under CASL the defendants had opted for an undertaking that includes a payment as well as provision of a more thorough CASL compliance program.
With the private right of action coming into force on July 1, 2017, all organizations should revisit their compliance efforts. The CRTC is signalling that more formal, documented policies and procedures as well as supporting training and review mechanisms are expected. As well, organizations that use third-party service providers to conduct email marketing campaigns are well advised to ensure adequate compliance by those service providers as well.