Former Unilever marketer Alex Tait is expanding his recently launched consultancy into advisory services around GDPR ahead of the looming deadline which many companies are ill-prepared for.
Tait departed Unilever – where he led the UK & Ireland media and marketing – to launch a consultancy venture called Entropy earlier this year which consults with brands on media, content and digital services.
However, as The Drum has previously reported, many companies are woefully under prepared for the EU-wide General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) regulations coming into force next May.
According to a survey from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) released earlier this year, a quarter of companies (24%) have yet to even start a GDPR plan while little over half surveyed believed their organisations will be ready for the 2018 deadline.
Many organisations are simply not sure who needs to take responsibly for it with the buck currently being passed between CEOs, CMOs, CTOs and legal departments.
To resolve that problem, many are increasingly turning to a third-party to ensure they will be compliant, with management consultancies – like Accenture – seeing a massive spike in demand for their services.
Looking to take advantage of this, Tait has partnered with Nick Stringer, formerly director of regulatory affairs at the IAB and chair of the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA), to launch its own GDPR advisory arm called Entropy Data.
“The urgency to act around GDPR has been covered extensively over the last few months but we both believe that many brands need and are asking from specialist advice from practitioners who have both a mix of marketing and regulatory expertise,” said Tait.
“We will help brands prepare for the GDPR with a tangible action plan. However, speaking to brands about their needs around data privacy best practice, we believe when it is right for the brand many should go beyond this.”
Entropy Data will be focused on how brand advertisers can comply with the GDPR, develop good practice and bake in what it describes as a ‘Think Privacy First’ approach into businesses.
In a blog post for The Drum today, Tait has called on advertisers to use the GDPR introduction as an opportunity to lead the global thinking around privacy and innovation.
"The UK is one of the most advanced digital and data economies globally, and certainly the most advanced in Europe. But we’ve an opportunity to go further and to lead the thinking globally around “privacy by design” where that is right for a brand," he wrote. "Advertisers can and should lead the way."