December 8, 2021 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
Today, the CRTC announced that it has reached an agreement with Gap Inc. for allegedly violating Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). In addition to implementing corrective measures, it has agreed to make a payment of $200,000. Gap is a US-based global apparel retailer which operates several clothing divisions, including Banana Republic and Old Navy.
CRTC staff issued a warning letter to Gap in December 2018 to inform the company that it had received complaints from Canadians regarding Gap’s electronic messaging practices. In June 2021, in light of continuing submissions from Canadians, the CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer (CCEO) opened a formal investigation into compliance with CASL.
The CCEO had reason to believe that, between January 2018 and August 2021, Gap sent commercial electronic messages to Canadians without the necessary consent. Gap’s messages also allegedly did not consistently include either an unsubscribe mechanism or an unsubscribe mechanism which could easily be performed – all of which are required under CASL. Upon being made aware of the CCEO’s concerns, Gap proactively made changes to its marketing practices and engaged with CRTC staff to reach a settlement.
Canadians are encouraged to report spam and suspicious practices to the Spam Reporting Centre.