It’s been a busy week in the marketing world, here’s what has caught our eye!
Conversations around the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) often focus on consumer concerns and expectations but the challenges for B2B brands are equally if not more complex. Encouragingly, most B2B marketers (72%) do have a good awareness of GDPR, and the majority (64%) believe their organisations are somewhat or extremely prepared for the new data laws, 6% higher than the average, according to the DMA’s latest research. However, more concerning is the fact 21% still don’t have a plan in place to tackle the new regulations ahead of them coming into effect next May. This is particularly worrying given 52% of B2B marketers believe they will be very or extremely affected by the new laws. “There are some fundamental things for B2B brands that make it more tricky, one being that most of this legislation has got B2C in mind so you’ve got to work it out a little bit for yourself,” says Shell’s general manager for data privacy Rob French, who reports into the vice-president of global retail marketing.
Once again, Twitter finds itself between a rock and a far-right place. Donald Trump’s retweeting of Britain First’s Jayda Fransen on Wednesday was a truly shocking moment. The British Prime Minister said it was “wrong”. It contributed, as one US news site put it, to Trump’s “darkest day” as President. Yet as Wednesday rolled into Thursday, the leader of the free world retweeting a far-right organisation became just another frightful part of what we apparently refer to as the “new normal”. Now perhaps the most surprising element of this spectacle isn’t that the President amplified the tweets of a woman who has been fined for hate speech – but that those tweets are still there. Recently Twitter has pledged to crack down on hate speech, and, more importantly, promised to be more transparent about how it goes about moderating its increasingly volatile space.
Uber has revealed that 2.7 million British riders and drivers were affected by a 2016 data breach that it covered up for more than a year. A total of 57 million worldwide had data exposed in the breach, but the firm had not specified how many were UK-based before. The stolen information includes names, email addresses and phone numbers and – for US drivers – licence numbers. Uber should notify UK users who have been affected, the data regulator said.
The annual festive battle for the attention and disposable income of consumers is well under way, and advertisers’ spending on Christmas commercials is forecast to create growth in the shaky British TV advertising market for the first time since last summer’s Brexit vote. Advertisers are expected to commit £1.2bn on TV ads to attract shoppers, with a record-breaking £6bn projected to be spent on all forms of marketing this Christmas. The 1% year-on-year boost in TV ad spending expected in the fourth quarter will mark the first growth since the second quarter of last year, when the Brexit vote triggered a weakening in the economy that has resulted in advertisers tightening their belts for the best part of the last 18 months.
The Alexa voice assistant has been Amazon’s remarkable runaway hit this past year. And as competitors such as Google and Apple try to catch up in the home, Amazon is pushing into a new market with Alexa for Business. Office workers will be able to use the firm’s Echo smart speakers to set up meetings with colleagues, book conference rooms and other basic tasks. But the critical question isn’t whether the technology works, but whether people will trust it in a business setting. “Without a doubt privacy and security is the number one issue,” said Geoff Blaber, analyst at CCS Insight. “Arguably that’s more important than the functionality.”