GLOBAL: With the GDPR due to be implemented in a month’s time, many marketers at major multinationals are not fully aware of the implications for future campaigns, according to new research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

The WFA’s GDPR Survey is based on responses, collected in March and April 2018, from 34 multinational companies, spending in excess of $65bn on marketing communications across a wide variety of sectors; two in three respondents were in global roles while job titles ranged across marketing, media, legal, regulatory/compliance and digital governance.

This found that 41% of brand owners feel that marketers in their organisations are fully aware of the implications of the GDPR for future marketing campaigns – an improvement on just 24% in July last year – but that still leaves half (52%) of marketers with major knowledge gaps.

Nine in ten respondents said their companies are carrying out training or internal communications, while half (50%) are increasing or plan to increase recruitment of data protection specialists or external consultants to help them handle the GDPR.

Six in ten brand owners are reviewing contracts with third parties such as agencies (64%) and reviewing and updating records of data processing activities (62%).

The current highest priority area, however, is reviewing procedures to handle individuals’ requests related to their personal data (e.g. erase or rectify data). Seven in ten respondents (69%) cited this as a priority but it also scored lowest in terms of implementation (12%).

Separate research from the DMA in the UK last week showed how consumer attitudes to data and privacy have evolved over time, with more than half (51%) of UK respondents viewing data as essential to the smooth running of the modern economy, up sharply from 38% in 2012.

Overall, 61% indicated they were happy with the amount of personal information they share, while 25% were unconcerned about matters of data privacy and the exchange of data (up from 16% in 2012).

“The clear trend is towards greater real-life acceptance of data exchange as part and parcel of everyday life,” said Jed Mole, European Marketing Director at Acxiom.

“This is good news for marketers who believe in data ethics and adopt the highest standards in data-driven marketing.”

Sourced from WFA, DMA; additional content by WARC staff