EUROPE: Poor quality data is holding back the effective use of digital advertising across Europe, according to a new survey.

When digital media platform Xaxis looked at the delivery of digital advertising campaigns in seven European markets – Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK – it found that 43% of media professionals in those countries were concerned about the quality of the data they had to work with.

But that figure failed to tell the story of individual markets. Britain and France, for example, scored satisfaction rates of over 80% for sourcing demographic, behavioural, and geo-location audience data, The Drum reported.

Germany and Spain returned satisfaction rates of 70% and 56% respectively, but Italy, Poland and Denmark lagged significantly behind.

"A Europe-wide lack of confidence in data quality is a theme running through these findings, with more than four in every ten respondents concerned about the quality of data available to them for audience planning and engagement," said Rebecca Muir, head of research and analysis at ExchangeWire.

"No two markets are the same when it comes to the availability and application of audience data," she added. "It's therefore important that the collection of data is accurate, relevant and localised to enhance audience engagement."

John Wittesaele, president of Xaxis EMEA, observed that the main disparity between nascent and more mature markets was the ability to source niche data.

"Once nascent markets manage to effectively source this and implement a more effective data strategy in line with their European counterparts, we will see more growing and mature data markets across Europe," he said.

The issue of data quality is in danger of being overshadowed by the imminent arrival of the GDPR in May next year, which almost half of UK businesses will not be ready for, according to new DMA research.

Awareness remains high at 96%, but the third wave of the DMA's GDPR and you research series found that only 54% of businesses are on course or ahead of their plans to be ready, down from 68% in February; one quarter of companies (24%) have yet to even start a GDPR plan.

Chris Combemale, CEO of the DMA Group, was critical of the Information Commissioner's Office, observing that its recent announcements and guidance had "caused much concern", leading marketers to believe that "the interpretation of the laws is overly strict, penalising the companies most committed to best practice, honesty and transparency".

Data sourced from The Drum, DMA; additional content by WARC staff