Thursday 29 June 2017, Manchester

When it comes to GDPR, you can split most marketers into one of two groups. Firstly, the optimists - those who are secretly grateful that marketers won’t be tarred with the same brush as SPAM emailers. Welcoming the fact that all UK firms now being required to adopt the same policy, or deal with the punishment if they don’t.

And there’s the second group, who feel it's change for change's sake, and just yet more red tape.  

With GDPR having so many legal implications, it was only right for intellectual property, media, and social media law expert Steve Kuncewicz to explain the punishments for non-compliance. With Pete Moore “the data guy” joining him from a practical standpoint on what it means, in the trenches.

Two great speakers, one very arduous topic.

Steve began by explaining the Brexit isn’t an excuse, and just like the last couple of chunks of the Toblerone, we’re going to be affected.

Together, the data duo then explained that GDPR has a trio of major impacts on marketers:

Image For 29 June NW Report1.       The double opt-in

No longer is a “opt out if you don’t want to receive”, or “untick this box to not opt in”, or “tick here to receive our whitepaper (….. and all our marketing communications until the end of time).” It must be without anything else attached to it. As close to “please can you send me your marketing?” as feasibly possible.

2.       The right to be forgotten

Giving much more control to individuals over not only how it is collected, but used and processed going forward. A right to be forgotten, meaning just that.

3.       Get your house in order

If you control, use or process data across your business, GDPR impacts you. Therefore marketers must be more diligent with what is collected and how it is stored, including the reporting of breaches (or suffer a penalty of 2% of global turnover).  



Pete compared GDPR to the Kübler-Ross model of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Within the presentation, four out of the five emotions were clear to see amongst the audience. I imagine acceptance might be witnessed as we reach the May 2018 deadline.

Whilst this was a brief GDPR talk, the Q&A session could’ve undoubtedly continued for much longer. With questions around “can I go back and ask for double opt in to satisfy GDPR”, “what about purchased data”, and as with many professional services firm’s strategy, “what if we’ve been given their business card – can we presume compliance”, it was clear that professional service marketers have their work cut out when it comes to GDPR.

Whichever side of the fence you sit on, it’s still going to be a big task – and for some firms, a dramatic change in strategy. But get ready marketers, it’s looking like it’ll start with us.

Written by Michael Beal
Marketing Manager, Cowgill Holloway LLP