Media Planning in a GDPR World

If you live in the world of global marketing and advertising, you’re hopefully well aware of the new regulation going into effect on May 25th, 2018 in the European Union (EU).  The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679, or GDPR, law is focused on strengthening and unifying data protection for all individual residents of the EU and, by treaty adoption, in the European Economic Area EEA.  It significantly expands data rights and the compliance obligations of organizations that process residents’ personal data.

The definition for processing data is, to say the least, extensive under the new law. Thus, it is extremely far-reaching and impacts many businesses. Organizations that process personal data must ensure that the data is properly safeguarded and that data subjects can readily exercise their rights to access, modify, transfer, or delete the data.  Even if you do not necessarily target users from the EEA, you may be subject to GDPR if an EEA user converts on your site. Once the user’s personal data is captured and stored, GDPR is triggered and a host of GDPR obligations are now yours to meet.

Failure to comply with the GDPR can result in the imposition of some hefty penalties. If the EEA user’s rights are not respected, or their personal data is improperly managed, supervising data authorities can impose fines of up to €20,000,000 or 4% of annual worldwide turnover in the previous year.

As a media professional, GDPR has been top of my mind for several months. Our organization, Just Media, has been going through many initiatives to update our own policies & procedures, from HR to IT to vendor relationships in order to become GDPR compliant. We are working to update client agreements, evaluate vendor compliance, and much more. In my role, I have to be vigilant about how all these changes affect what clients need from us; about which vendors are greenlighted to use for EEA campaigns; and what might change as GDPR guidelines continue to be issued from the Article 29 Working Party.

As I integrate these considerations into the work I do as a media professional and think about the levels of complexity GDPR creates, I also think about how others are impacted.  There is no doubt the new regulations bring complexity to it all. Just Media knows our clients and vendors are all working very hard on this issue as it is a major disruptor, but GDPR also brings along a lot of positive outcomes. These include:

    1. Better protection of audience privacy and more control for them over how data is used
    2. Increased trust between audiences and advertisers
    3. A focus on driving more impactful advertising and content experiences to drive truly interested audiences into the funnel
    4. A renewed creative spirit in marketing and advertising

In contrast to the good we see coming out this legislation, we also see some limitations on data, especially 3rd party data. With the rollout of GDPR, the viability of cookie-based technology is in serious question as are techniques such as IP targeting. We predict it will greatly impact many channels and also the type of reporting deemed acceptable.

Certainly, the news is filled with data privacy concerns right now. The public uproar of Facebook’s sharing of user data at the forefront of conversation as is the subsequent death of Cambridge Analytica. This increased public awareness suggests that GDPR style regulations will come increasingly to the US and other countries. Indeed, in November of this year, California will vote on the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which will give consumers more information and control over how their data is being used. Now more than ever users are demanding to know how their data is being collected, used, stored, and shared. Responsible marketers are taking this opportunity to adapt and to renew their focus on compelling context, contextual alignment and fundamentals of great advertising and marketing.

At Just Media, we are always going to look at new and innovative ways to reach the right audiences with the right messages. With expanded rights for users and as we move to an opt-in world, the individuals we do reach with advertising will likely be more engaged with the messages we present.

My job as a media professional is to keep an eye on developments stemming from this new piece of regulation.  I can help my clients navigate this new world of advertising, not only to ensure compliance but to make sure we can make the most out of every advertising dollar. With GDPR, my role is so much more important than ever before. While regulation always bring challenges, I find it exciting to navigate the global landscape and steer my clients and agency through these changes.

May you be ready for GDPR and start to plan how this will impact regions beyond the EEA. Remember, we are all in this together and Just Media is a resource for you! Feel free to reach out with any questions or let us know if you want to do a deep dive on our POV.




J O N A S   O L S S O N
Media Account Manager



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