NEWS13 September 2017

Majority of brand owners ‘not ready for GDPR’

Data analytics Europe GDPR Legal News UK

BRUSSELS – Seventy per cent of brand owners say marketing teams in their organisations are not fully aware of the implications of the European Union’s new data protection regulation, the GDPR.

EU Commission HQ

A new survey by the World Federation of Advertisers highlights the need for organisations to work harder to get to grips with GDPR, which comes into force in May next year.

Only 65% of respondents to the WFA’s survey said they expected to be fully compliant before the rules come into force, and just 41% said they already had a framework or strategy in place. One in four said they were still in the initial planning stages.

Despite the fact that companies can be fined up to 4% of their global turnover (potentially billions of pounds for major companies) for breaching the new rules, 40% said it they found it challenging to raise awareness of data privacy issues internally.

Jacqui Stephenson, global responsible marketing officer at Mars, and chair of the WFA’s digital governance exchange, said: “It is a concern that only nine months away from implementation many marketers are not prepared. The risks of not being ready for GDPR are huge both financially and in terms of consumer reputation.”

The survey results are based on responses from 18 companies, which together spend more than $20bn a year on marketing communications.