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Almost three-quarters of marketing firms unaware of GDPR

Just 34% of marketing and advertising businesses are aware of the new European data protection legislation which comes into force in less than a year.

The survey of 187 companies by law firm Irwin Mitchell also found that 31% thought the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) would have no impact on their business.

The GDPR, which comes into force on 25 May 2018, will impose a slew of new rules and regulations on how firms control and process consumer data. The penalties for non-compliance will also be much larger, with fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever amount is higher.

Some 17% of the organisations surveyed said receiving the maximum fine would force them out of business, with a further 11% saying it would lead to significant job losses.

Joanne Bone, partner and data protection expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: “These results are concerning because with next May’s deadline fast-approaching and with so much at stake, our study reveals there’s a very real possibility that a large number of marketing and advertising firms will not be compliant in time.”

A separate poll commissioned by data management platform Rapid42 found 96% of CMOs in the financial services industry thought GDPR compliance would be the responsibility of the IT function. Just 18% of the CMOs canvassed could identify where their organisation’s data had come from.

More worryingly, recent research from the Crown Records Management revealed almost a quarter of UK firms have given up preparing for the EU General Data Protection in the belief it won't apply after Britain leaves the EU.

And finally, a report from the DMA found only 54% of organisations feel they're on course to comply with the GDPR when it comes into play next year.

Getting to grips with GDPR: A B2B marketer’s guide

This free comprehensive guide explains what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is, how this incoming data protection law will affect your organisation, and the practical steps to take to prepare for it.

Learn how to comply with GDPR

GDPR for B2B marketers: Everything you need to know to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation