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The Drum

“We’re undercooking it on privacy policies,” IAB chairman tells marketers as he offers a template for the future of marketing

Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) chairman Richard Eyre has told marketers they must go further and work harder to relax people about data saying that the “legal bollocks” that appears on a website when you click the ‘Privacy’ tab no longer cuts it.

Speaking at ISBA's annual conference in London today, Eyre said: “The activities of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden have brought state breaches of data to the fore, but it hasn’t taken the heat off advertisers and brands. The IAB has offered some best practice approaches, but I can’t help but feel that we’re undercooking it on privacy policies.”

“It’s about security of data and despite our efforts their remains some very serious concerns about the collection of data.”

Eyre added that right now, what marketers must to do to ease consumer concerns is to get the ‘Privacy’ tab up often found hidden at the bottom of the page, up to the top.

“And when we click on it we should get something that isn’t legal bollocks but that says here is what we will never ever do with your data,” he said. “We need to go further than we have ever gone before as advertisers to relax people with what we’re doing with data.”

This respect toward the consumer is one of the pillars in his ‘future of marketing template’, which Eyre urged marketers to take heed of.

Commenting on the importance of openness for a brand – another pillar – Eyre said that while brands are pulling up their privacy tab, they should also be overhauling how they enable consumers to contact them.

He applauded the likes of Virgin Atlantic for its real-time responses to customer queries on social media, but on a more basic level said that right now brands should axe the FAQs panel from the contact section on their websites and invest properly in offering consumers genuine contact points.

“Under-resourcing of contact points is pathetic. It’s what big businesses do when they think they are bigger than the consumer,” he said.

In the same vein, Eyre explained that for brands it’s no longer about defining a persona and keeping it up because in this “always on” world that simply isn’t possible.

“Brand values have to be for real, they cannot be an overlay. Under the constant scrutiny and discussion available to our customers, carefully crafted overlays can’t exist. They must not express what research says people want from the brand, but the truth about what that brand actually is and what it means,” he said, explaining that Nike and Apple are two brands to have been at one time tarnished by the inconsistency in what they say to consumers and what they do as companies.

He continued: “CSR is a dreary term if ever I heard one, but it absolutely should be a division of marketing. It should not exist anywhere else in your organisation.”

Eyre's comments come as Forrester revealed that 62 per cent of marketers avoid behavioural marketing because of privacy concerns from consumers.