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According to a recent survey by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), 70% of major global brands feel they’re not prepared for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) changes.

The survey found that of the global brands (spending over $20bn annually on marketing) asked, 70% did not feel their marketers were fully aware of the implications of GDPR, while just 65% expected to be fully compliant for when the changes come into effect in May 2018.

A quarter of the companies surveyed admitted to being still in ‘initial planning stages’, with just 41% saying they have a strategy in place to ensure they don’t get stung by the new laws and hefty fines.

‘It is a concern that only nine months away from implementation, many marketers are not prepared,’ said Jacqui Stephenson, chair of the WFA’s Digital Governance Exchange. ‘The risks of not being ready for GDPR are huge, both financially and in terms of consumer reputation.’

The ‘huge’ financial risks are fines of up to 4% global turnover or  €20m, whichever is higher, for any company found to be in breach of the legislation.

GDPR is an EU law affecting how companies maintain records of personal data; if you are currently subject to the DPA, you’re likely to be affected by the GDPR. Despite being an EU law, the changes will affect organisations outside of the EU offering goods or services to individuals within the EU.

A third of the surveyed companies plan to hire a data protection officer to help them navigate the GDPR, as 73% admitted reviewing and understanding compliance levels, especially across third parties, is ‘a challenge’.

So how prepared are you for the new rules? For more information, visit the ICO website.



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