Fingerprint family heads up ICO consumer awareness campaign

David Reed, knowledge and strategy director, DataIQ

The Information Commissioner’s Office yesterday unveiled its long-awaited consumer awareness campaign under the “Your Data Matters” banner and with creative work centred around a fingerprint family. Although timed for enforcement of GDPR, ICO head of corporate communications, Robert Parker, explained that, “this is about building in the long-term”.

Back in May 2017, Elizabeth Denham published the ICO’s information strategy which set out five goals, a central one of which was to increase public trust in how their personal information is used. In developing the campaign, the ICO itself has a central role in the messaging, especially around explaining its role in regulating data controllers. Executions point both individuals and companies towards layered data protection information published on ico.org.uk

ICO consumer awareness ad“This is a marketing campaign,” said Parker, “with additional information on our site. We want members of the public to engage with these ads and then look for more information. This is for the long-term, not just GDPR and 25th May.”

Development of the campaign and its materials started in Autumn last year with DataIQ helping to bring major brands to the table as part of a public education hub. Participating companies included Barclays, BBC, Boots, BT, Centrica, Comic Relief, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Dell, EDF, Global, Hunton and Williamson, Jaguar LandRover, Royal Mail, RBS, Santander and Sainsbury’s. Fedelma Good, director - data protection strategy, legal and compliance services at PwC, played a central role in co-ordinating hub meetings and keeping the project on track.

Creative executions have been developed by the ICO’s retained creative agency Squad and will be available for any organisation to download, use and develop. Having common themes and messages put into the marketplace by multiple brands has always been a key goal for the campaign as it will help to reduce complexity and confusion for consumers.

Rachel Aldighieri, managing director of DMA UK, who also participated in the hub from the outset, said of the launch: “It is particularly important to put trust at the core of this campaign. GDPR is the perfect vehicle for brands to build trust - that should be the end goal.” Consumer research abut to be unveiled by the DMA shows that two-thirds of consumers are willing to share their data with organisations if they trust them.