Introducing the world’s first guide on data ethics in advertising is WFA or the World Federation of Advertisers. It’s basically a brand’s guide on what you should and shouldn’t do with the data your brand collects from target audiences. This comes after the second anniversary of the ground-breaking GDPR ruling in the European Union.
Data collection is a touchy subject for many consumers, yet it plays such an important role in the marketing process. This is where an ethical approach ensures the safety of the customers’ data – and the reputation of the collecting brand. What does all of this mean for advertising, you ask? Let’s find out:
Data collection in advertising
Direct marketing is a prime example of the importance of regulated data practices. We’ve all received one; an email from a deceased estate attorney who wants to bequeath you with Aunt Marge’s millions (someone you’ve never heard of in your life). How did this random con artist get your email address? The only way it could have happened is if someone – who you’ve given your details to before – has sold your email address (probably as part of a larger database) to a dodgy company somewhere in Timbuktu.
The advertiser has a responsibility to handle your data correctly, especially sensitive information like credit card details and physical addresses. Consumers have the final say in whether the data can be stored or not. Monthly mailers, as an example, have to feature opt-out messages on every mailer going out. Websites that collect contact form data should also ask whether their hosting servers are safe, and only hold onto collected website data if there is a specific purpose behind keeping it (if they’ve signed up for monthly mailer updates).