The Information Commissioner’s Office is taking a collaborative approach for its long-awaited “Your Data Matters” public awareness campaign – launched this week – enlisting companies to run the activity rather than buying media itself for a full-scale nationwide campaign.
A number of high-profile brands and organisations have been working on the initiative, including Barclays, BBC, Boots, BT, Centrica, Comic Relief, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Dell, EDF, Global, Jaguar LandRover, Royal Mail, RBS, Santander and Sainsbury’s.
The regulator is providing organisations with ‘off the shelf’ material to share across their communications in the run up to GDPR becoming law on the May 25, including email, advertising, leaflet, social media and video executions.
The creative, devised by creative agency Squad, is centred around a “fingerprint family” and carries the strapline “Personal data matters a lot today. Take control of yours and make it work for you.”
It aims to deliver consistent educational messages designed to help individuals understand the changing data protection environment in a practical and straightforward way.
In a statement, the ICO said: “We hope the campaign can ease the burden on organisations having to create their own materials while at the same time ensuring a coherent message is communicated.”
ICO head of corporate communications Robert Parker added: “We want members of the public to engage with these ads and then look for more information. This is for the long-term, not just GDPR and May 25.”
However, some in the industry have expressed disappointment at the low-key nature of the activity. One insider said: “While it is very laudable to get other companies to run this campaign, why hasn’t the Government stumped up the cash for a nationwide awareness push? The ICO might say it is not only about GDPR but this is the biggest shake-up of data protection laws in a generation and it all feels a bit cheap.”
Another added: “To be honest, this is simply not good enough. We need an official campaign to let consumers know what is happening. The Facebook row has raised many concerns about how companies handle personal data but I doubt whether this campaign will answer any of them. The ICO managed to get some cash for a radio campaign targeting small business, why can’t it do the same for consumers?”
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