The Reception


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GDPR: Marketers relax!

The new General Data Protection Regulation is set to introduce fundamental changes to data protection rules in Europe, raising genuine challenges for marketers, ad exchanges, DSPs, SSPs, DMPs and others in the AdTech sector. With additional compliance requirements and a number of key questions that remain unanswered, the industry is in a state of confusion. However, while the new law will result in undeniable challenges, businesses should think more holistically about the GDPR and embrace the ways in which it will not negatively affect their organisation.   Repercussions relative to responsible action There is huge uncertainty around the implementation of GDPR and scaremongering in the industry is rife.  

What next after Sorrell?

Clients, shareholders and employees of WPP are right to pay respect to the man who built arguably the biggest ‘advertising group’ in the world but also to wonder what impact his departure will have for them. The more interesting question is what impact it will have on the industry, indeed how even the industry is defined, an impact not necessarily centered on the man himself but by the debate that his predictable yet unexpected resignation will spark. Predictable – well, he is into his 8th decade and no-one lasts forever particularly when times are a’changing and your share price is weak. Unexpected – because he said himself they’d need to carry him out in a box and no-one doubted that he meant it.

City people are friendly

In the UK, most of the population lives in urban areas. In fact, in 2014, 74% of people lived in an urban area, the highest in the OECD. In Australia too, it’s high, at 70%. Across the whole OECD, the figure still stands at 46%. Given that cities and towns are home to most of us, it’s clear we need good urban design to generate the best quality of life. This article looks at how one company is working to leverage behavioural insights to design better cities and public spaces which celebrate how people and communities live, work and play. These insights could facilitate mass behaviour change in cities all over the world. How pedestrians have been squeezed out by the car Over the past few decades, cities have been designed for cars, not people, leading to poor and even unsafe experiences for city dwellers. Cities and urban areas are still, as the esteemed Danish architect Jan Gehl (pictured) says, the “product of the traffic engineers’ heyday”. Often, the ratio of space for cars versus people is completely out of balance.

Ruby Wax and Ubuntu

As I seek valiantly to recover from a recent skiing accident (pause for waves of indifference), I am reminded of just how much the benefits of physical exercise contribute to my life. I have never been touched by faith in a deity but keeping fit, striving for a healthy body, is bizarrely the closest I have come to a committed behaviour regime along the lines of quasi-religious observance. And it works, both as a source of energy and an antidote to the daily cut and thrust. I am grateful for this in part because there is unnervingly little comfort to be gained from a quick scan around the world. Actress, lecturer and author Ruby Wax, now with a master’s degree from Oxford University in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, sums it up beautifully: “You open a newspaper, everyone’s dead”.

Embracing neurodiversity

The Neurodiversity Fishbowl was very different from many Marketing Society events - There were no comforting rows of seats to offer anonymity, just a big circle of chairs facing inwards. Although a challenge for speakers trying to involve the whole audience – The Marketing Society’s chief executive, Gemma Greaves, was the first to note the potential for dizziness – the format left nowhere to hide and was fully aligned with the Society’s bravery agenda. And the topic – how to embrace neurodiversity in the workplace – was a trailblazing one. I spend my working life researching brain response, so am very aware that there are physiological factors underlying how our brains work. Women, for example, tend to have more connections between the parts of their brains that experience emotions and the parts that are responsible for speech, and consequently find it easier than men to talk about their feelings. It doesn’t make either men or women better or worse human beings – but we are different. 

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Gender and the loss of nuance

If we don’t talk, all that’s left is fighting, writes Havas UK's Matt Dailey.