As negotiations between the UK and EU over Brexit move slowly forward, leaders from the DMA and AA – representing the marketing and advertising industry – have called on the UK Government to ensure any deal recognises the UK’s unique alignment with the EU on data protection.
After Brexit, the UK will be in a unique position as the only country outside the EU to have full GDPR implementation, which could prove hugely valuable to the industries which rely upon data.
In a letter to key figures, including Boris Johnson, David Davis, Karen Bradley, Liam Fox and Matt Hancock, Chris Combemale, the CEO of DMA and Stephen Woodford, the Chief Executive of the Advertising Association, called for Government to focus on securing key areas to ensure the UK’s data-driven industries continue to thrive.
The organisations have requested the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can continue to participate fully in the European Data Protection Board, allowing the ICO full voting rights, and allow UK consumers to benefit from the GDPR infrastructure.
While the letter is focused on the UK’s marketing and advertising sectors, the proposal would benefit the country’s entire data economy.
Chris Combemale, CEO of the DMA Group and Chair of the AA’s Data Working Group, told DIGIT: :The UK’s data-driven creative industry is already a global leader and unfettered access to the digital single market is important to its continued success. The UK will be in a unique position upon Brexit because the GDPR will be applicable in the UK already.
“No other third country will be in this position, and the Government should capitalise on this to ensure minimal disruption for consumers and businesses. Striking such a deal would be a huge gain for the entire UK economy, which relies on being able to exchange personal data freely across EU borders.”
Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive at the Advertising Association said: “A deal that essentially puts rocket boosters on to our export potential will be precisely the right decision during this phase of the Brexit negotiations. In an increasingly global and digital marketplace, it is vital we talk the same language as those territories we want to do business with.
“Our industry is showing sustained growth in digital ad spend and so we have a huge opportunity to build our exports of advertising services in the coming years, particularly in the area of digital advertising, whether that is through creative or technological services. Otherwise, the risk is we are left isolated and unable to trade freely and competitively in this crucial growth area for the industry.”