Given what’s going on in Brussels, you have to ask yourself whether anyone in this industry really gives a damn about the future of their business? And if you believe the results of the DMA’s recent research, the answer appears to be a resounding “no”…
Of course, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics – and everyone knows that journalists are the biggest culprits when it comes to massaging the figures.
But the fact that so many people who work in data-fuelled marketing confess to being unaware of the possible impact of the draft EU Data Protection Directive – nearly half of those surveyed for the DMA study – exposes a worrying degree of ignorance.
Now there will be some who believe their opinion can’t possibly make a difference; that it’s down to the trade bodies and even the UK Government to fight the cause. Others will no doubt think that it’s simply far too boring.
Yet you can lay money on it that if the proposals are passed – including a ban on the collection and use of personal data without explicit consent, the “right to be forgotten”, and the outlawing of any marketing data that is not opted-in – these same people will be the first to cry foul.
The DMA, which estimates that the new measures could cost UK businesses up to £47bn and wreak havoc through most sections of the DM industry, can’t fight this issue alone.
OK, it has won support among other trade bodies, including ISBA, the Advertising Association, the CBi and in Whitehall, but too many of those at the cliff-face of the industry are not getting involved.
Here at DecisionMarketing, we are trying to do our bit to highlight the threats – after all, it will affect us, too. But it seems still so many firms have failed to grasp the seriousness of the issue. If EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding gets her way – and by all accounts she’s a very persuasive woman – the Regulation will be on the statute book within 12 months.
Isn’t it time those working in the industry – and I mean you lot sitting on your hands – started to sit up and take notice, before it’s simply too late?
Charlie McKelvey is publishing editor of DecisionMarketing
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