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The GDPR - another disaster that never was?

Posted By Nikita Smits-Jørgensen, BusinessBrew, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Updated: Thursday 12 July 2018

gdpr the disaster that never was

May 25th 2018, the GDPR enforcement date, has passed and the sky didn’t fall. The panic and media attention around the new regulation have died down. Suddenly, the GDPR feels like the Y2K disaster that never was. But is that really true? Can marketing teams breathe easy and take a step back from personal data privacy and compliance? The answer is no, and here’s why.


GDPR and Y2K - The big difference

We are hearing one phrase more than any other when it comes to the GDPR at the moment: “GDPR is just like Y2K. Big panic that disaster will strike and then nothing happens.”

Let’s just remind ourselves of what Y2K meant. In 1999, there was concern that when the new millennium kicked off all computers including your PC, onboard facilities on planes, government devices and everything else would malfunction and therefore disaster would occur. Today, we know this didn’t happen and Y2K is known as the disaster that never was.

The only similarity to the GDPR is the fact that both had a D-Day - 1/1/2000 and 25/5/2018 respectively. And perhaps that the hysteria created around both days was bigger than it needed to be. But seriously, that’s where it ends.

The GDPR compared to Y2K is very real. It’s is a law that has come into force. Businesses have to adhere to the rules and have to change how they work with personal data going forward. While the news cycle may have moved on and hysteria has died down, the enforcement of the GDPR hasn’t.


What happened after 25/05/2018?

The point of this article is not to scare anyone, it’s to show that the belief that the GDPR has no bite and will not be enforced is untrue. My advice to you is simple, if you haven’t completed your GDPR compliance project, you need to get started. The legislation is being enforced as we speak:

Just 5 days after the deadline, on May 30th the first ruling came in. ICANN (WHOIS / The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers vs EPAG. A German court ruled that EPAG is not obliged to collect additional personal data.

Cases have been filed by Max Schrems, and La Quadrature du Net against the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Google’s Android, Gmail, YouTube, Google Search, Apple, Amazon and LinkedIn across different European countries.

US businesses like the LA Times are as of writing this post still not providing services to European visitors. They are willing to forego advertising revenue until they are sure they are fully GDPR compliant.

And if you feel the GDPR is only affecting big businesses:

France has seen a 50% increase in the number of complaints in relation to data privacy and Austria has seen 100+ complaints and 59 breach notification filed in the month post May 25th (that’s the same amount they’d receive in 8 months usually) according to

From a home perspective, Helen Dixon, our Irish DPA, said this in May 2018: “There will be fines, and they will be significant.[...] I think it is quite clear that when we do identify an infringement that’s of the gravity, duration and scope that is serious, then we are obliged considerably to administer an administrative fine.” 

These are really just a handful of examples of how businesses, privacy advocates, courts and citizens like you and me are using the GDPR to ensure that personal data is handled as it should be. They demonstrate the reality of the GDPR and the need to become compliant as well as maintaining compliance.


It’s not too late to get compliant

It’s never too late to become compliant! Compliance is an ongoing processes and many businesses are only now starting to wrap their heads around it. So if that’s you, you are not alone. But you really need to get your compliance skates on! 

Often, the GDPR is left with the legal and / or IT department of the business. And while both of these have a big part to play, commercial teams like sales and marketing have to up their compliance game, too.

Most sales and marketing teams today collect data online through forms like a “contact us”. Ecommerce businesses, of course, work with order forms that collect personal data. This data is often pulled into a CRM system where it is processed. This processing may include order fulfillment, invoicing or using the data to make a sales call or send a marketing email. Regardless of whether you are working in a B2B or B2C business and regardless of whether the order is fulfilled in Europe or not, if your business in based in Europe the GDPR applies and has to be included in your sales & marketing tasks.

The first step to becoming compliant is to understand the law. Easier said than done, right? The difficulties for many marketers are around avoiding miscommunication and myths as well as finding information that explains the GDPR in human-speak, not legal. 

MII together with BusinessBrew understands this; we are marketers not lawyers. Our online course is based on my experience as a Privacy Professional accredited by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and ISO standard 17024:2012 as well as my experience as a marketing strategist. This mix means that I can explain the GDPR in human-speak as well as give you real life sales & marketing examples applying the regulation. The next intake for the online course starts on 13th August, be sure to register your interest here!


About Nikita Smits-Jørgensen

Nikita Smits-Jørgensen is co-founder of inbound marketing and GDPR consultancy BusinessBrew. While being ISO certified in privacy regulations for sales and marketing (GDPR / PECR) she aims to work with marketers in plain English to get GDPR-ready.

Nikita met fellow BusinessBrew founder Evelyn Wolf during their tenure at inbound marketingpowerhouse HubSpot where they assisted businesses of all sizes and industries as well as marketing agencies in building their lead to customer generation funnels.

BusinessBrew is geared to help companies make the most out of their inbound marketing and privacy efforts in the most time and cost-efficient manner through workshops, training and the delivery of strategic playbooks.


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It’s time for a breakfast cereal revival

Posted By Mintel, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Updated: Thursday 12 July 2018

Consumers like breakfast cereal, but not enough to shore up a category whose fortunes are waning as breakfast eaters seek other foods in a hyper-crowded morning space. In developed cereal markets, the product is losing out to foods with higher protein, less sugar, and more convenience. In emerging markets, cereals are fighting for growth, but are challenged by entrenched eating habits that veer towards more substantial and savory foods.


Cereal sales fall, but snacking may save the category

Two of the biggest and best-established global cereal markets, the US and the UK, saw flattened sales between 2016 and 2017, after facing a steady decline over the past five years. While cereal is still a popular breakfast option, it is not providing consumers with what they need. In the US, for example, 61% of those who have purchased cereal in the past year wish that it kept them fuller longer, while 56% wish that it gave them more energy. If cereal is not satisfying the needs of breakfast eaters, it is not surprising that they are moving towards other foods that provide the energy and satiety they look for in a morning meal. In the UK, changing breakfast habits are also contributing. A third of breakfast cereal buyers often skip breakfast, and about a quarter tend to snack throughout the morning instead of eating one main breakfast.


It’s time to make cereal a real snack food

Cereal's role as a snack, rather than a breakfast food, could help the category reclaim some lost ground, if manufacturers consider the potential to change its positioning. In the US, 76% of cereal eaters agree that the product is a "great snack," and snacking on cereal is a popular practice in other markets as well. In Europe, for example, 24% of Italian cereal eaters snack on cereal between lunch and dinner. Manufacturers should consider better ways to position their cereals as "suitable for snacking”, through packaging that is more portable, package sizes made for grab-and-go, and advertisements that demonstrate the ease with which cereal can make the transition to convenient snack.

Currently only few cereal products are packaged for on-the-go snacking. Resealable pouches encourage taking the cereal from one place to another, as do individual sachets of porridge or other microwavable hot cereals. But cereals have to find a way to be the snack that is truly eaten on-the-go, as opposed to the snack to eat once a person has arrived.


Vegetables try to edge their way into cereal

Asian cultures are well known for their savory breakfasts, especially Chinese congee - a hot rice porridge - and Indian savory oats. Indeed, introducing western-style cereals to the Asian market has been an ongoing challenge as the palates of Asian consumers are not attuned to the sweetness of traditional western cereals. On the other hand, Asian cereal eaters are most likely to welcome vegetables as an ingredient in cold cereals, whereas western consumers are not as inclined to embrace savoury cereals such as oats with eggs or flakes made with vegetables.

Yet, multinationals looking for ways to improve the health halo of cold cereals have been adding vegetables, primarily by selecting those with sweet profiles (beets, pumpkin, squash). The pumpkin spice fad that has informed a range of sweet products in the US is in part responsible for the incremental move towards savory cereals.


Vegan claims in breakfast cereals provide an extra layer of reassurance

Although breakfast cereals are inherently meat-free and most are also dairy-free, breakfast cereal brands increasingly flag up their vegan and vegetarian credentials on-pack. This provides an extra layer of reassurance to consumers who seek to avoid animal-derived ingredients. Such concerns are not ungrounded, as breakfast cereals can contain hidden animal products such as gelatine or dairy ingredients, often as part of coating or filling. Also the use of other, sometimes less obvious, ingredients may not agree with vegetarian or vegan values. Honey, for example, does not correlate with the vegan ethos that seeks to exclude all forms of animal cruelty and exploitation.

Vegan claims in breakfast cereals are becoming increasingly embedded in a wider clean label positioning, featuring alongside other health and ethical claims. Considered a hallmark of clean label, a short list of ingredients is becoming an important consideration for many consumers when purchasing food and drink. In breakfast cereals, consumers are increasingly opting for products with simple recipes, recognisable ingredients as well as clearer and simpler claims.

1. Müsliglück Garden Love Organic Muesli with Carrots, Tomatoes, Courgette and Pumpkin Seeds (Germany)  contains dried vegetables and wholegrain oat cereal. The crispy, nutty, fruity and chocolatey product is suitable for vegetarians


2. Quaker Overnight Oats Toasted Coconut & Almond Crunch Oats (USA) 
is a chilled oat cereal with quinoa, flaxseed and coconut. It can be prepared by adding milk in the evening and leaving it in the fridge overnight to be enjoyed cold in the morning.



3. Nature's Path Organic Coconut & Cashew Butter Crunchy Granola (Canada) contains creamy cashew butter, potassium-filled cashews and fibre-filled coconut chunks. The packaging suggests use in a bowl or “in your hand”, for on-the-go convenience.



4. EcoAndino Purple Corn, Quinoa, Yacon and Cacao Flakes (Peru) are organic, gluten-free and sugar-free flakes. The product is a great source of antioxidants, protein, carbohydrates and essential fatty acids which are easily digestible.



5. Veríval Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Porridge (Germany) 
is a savoury oatmeal with tomato chips, pumpkin flakes and whole vegetable pieces, seasoned with herbs and spices. It requires simply adding hot water and is ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a side dish.



6. Creative Snacks Co. Pumpkin & Pecan Granola (USA) contains real pumpkin, often used in pies, breads and cakes in the US thanks to its sweet profile flavour. This granola adds pecans for a crunchy texture.



7. Granola Crispy Cereal with Chocolate & Biscuit (Austria) 
blurs the line between cereal and biscuits.





8. N'oats Porridge with Apple, Strawberry and Crisps (Germany) 
is a porridge with a twist. In contrast to classic smooth porridges, this product contains nuts, apples, crunchy corn crisps and white chocolate, providing a dynamic range of textures.



9. Quaker Oats Oat & Fruit Apple & Cinnamon Breakfast (UK) is ideal for time-poor consumers who can’t afford a sit-down breakfast. It contains a blend of oats, natural yogurt, real fruit purée and juice, and is free from added sugar, artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.



10. Onda Zen Salted Granola (Brazil) 

is a savoury, ready-to-eat granola that can be eaten on its own, or added to snacks, salads and soups. Suitable for vegans, it contains peanut, pistachio, Provence herbs and Himalayan pink salt. 



About Mintel

Mintel is the world's leading market intelligence agency. For over 40 years, Mintel's expert analysis of the highest quality data and market research has directly impacted on client success. With offices in London, Chicago, Belfast, Düsseldorf, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Munich, New York, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand.

For more information on Mintel, please visit Follow Mintel on Twitter: or join the Mintel LinkedIn community:

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The greatest campaigns shared at Cannes-Alysis

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 11 July 2018

This Monday we partnered with IAPI and the AAI for a Cannes-Alysis event in the National Concert Hall, to bring you the latest and greatest insights from Cannes.

We have selected some of the best campaigns that were discussed on the night.


Grainne Wafer, Baileys

First on the stage was Grainne Wafer from Baileys on the hot topics in Cannes: gender, trust and tech.

When thinking about gender inequality among children, what brand pops into mind?This year Barbie aimed to inspire children beyond the clichés with a campaign claiming that “you can be anything”, regardless of your gender.

On the issue of trust, Grainne shared a stunt campaign by German supermarket Edeka, which fought the rise of nationalist movements by removing all non-German products from its shelves, making a statement about the importance of diversity.

Sandra Alvarez, Sparks Foundry

Next up, Sandra Alvarez from Sparks Foundry  put the spotlights on brands that help make the world a better place by tackling issues such as gender taboos and environment.

Axe noticed that men are increasingly questioning what defines masculinity and replied with a campaign pointing out that there is no one way to be a man.

Libresse put a stop to the taboo of having your periods with their Bloodnormal campaign that left no one indifferent.

The Plastic Oceans Foundation and publisher LADBible raised awareness about plastic in the ocean by petitioning to create a new country: Trash Isles.

Jamie Fulham, Core

Jamie Fulham from Core shared his experience of Cannes Lions following Martin Sorrell's advice: "say it as you see it".

The first thing Jamie learned is that we - Ireland - can win. Rothco' acclaimed campaign JFK Unsilenced is proof that we are able to create world-class work in this country.

He then made the point that everyone, in every area of advertising and marketing, can be creative. No matter what your job title is.

Jamie also flagged the changes in the way agencies work. Silos do not work anymore and agencies specialising in one thing only will soon be a thing of the past; the key is collaboration and we all have to learn to work together.

We should not be afraid of change, but embrace the possibilities that it brings with it. As David Ogilvy put it: "Change is our life blood, stagnation our death knell".

Chloe Barton, AIB

Chloe Barton from AIB then shared her experience as a Young Lion in the Young Marketers category. If you are under 30, make sure to enter the IAPI competition next year… It could be you!

One of the campaigns that stood out to Chloe was Intel’s drones light show at the Olympics, where the brand brought tech to life.

Emma Sharkey, Rothco

Emma Sharkey from Rothco was up next to discuss radio, the "forgotten medium" with ads that made a fantastic use of it. Just listen to this one for Dexcom.

And of course, she HAD to share the ad that won Rothco the Grand Prix for Creative Data and a Gold Cannes Lion in the Radio and Audio category: JFK Unsilenced. Well done Rothco!

Rory Hamilton, Boys & Girls

The last speaker was Rory Hamilton from Boys & Girls with a talk on brands' role in tackling societal issues.

With #project84, CALM installed 84 statues on top of the ITV tower to represent the 84 men who lose their life to suicide every week in the UK.

Rory closed the evening with the bigger issue of all… how do you take a selfie with your dog? Presenting… Selfie Stix.


We'd like to thank everyone who attended, and of course our partners at IAPI and AAI.


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Explore consumer insights update, issue 2, 2018

Posted By PML Group, Wednesday 11 July 2018
Updated: Monday 9 July 2018

PML Explore report

The latest issue of PML group's consumer insights update featuring extracts from PML Group’s research resources plus items of interest from home and abroad.

In this edition:
OOH – Key Online/Offline Driver
Trust in Out of Home
Time for a Dynamic Approach
Noticeability of Advertising
Summer in Dublin
Poster Impact
Top recalled campaigns Q1
Social Media Influencers
Dublin’s Footfall Analysis – Grafton & Henry Streets (BNP Paribas)
Canal Cordon Report (NTA)
National Roads Network Indicators (TII)
Supermarket Shopping (V360)
OOH & Mobile Made for each other (JCDecaux)


read report


About PML Group

PML Group is the Ireland’s leading Out of Home advertising and location based marketing specialist. They have a deep understanding of what people think, feel and do out of the home, making them experts in reaching and influencing audiences in the physical world. They combine insight, data, technology and smart people to create compelling, creative and quantifiable solutions which make a meaningful difference to businesses and brands.  They enable brands to navigate the complex, location-based marketing landscape with ease, to develop dynamic and integrated communications and to build rewarding customer relationships.

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The B2B Content Creation Masterclass

Posted By Squaredot, Tuesday 3 July 2018

squaredot b2b content creation masterclass

As a B2B marketer, you know you need to promote your brand in the best light, in front of the right people, at the right time, with the right message to ensure a steady stream of ongoing quality leads and loyal customer retention. To achieve this you need to get serious about your content marketing.

Squaredot have created this B2B Content Creation Masterclass ebook to guide you through the steps you need to take to create content that delivers qualified leads.


Read ebook


About Squaredot

Squaredot are an Irish B2B digital agency. We generate demand by connecting brands with the modern B2B buyer. Squaredot use research and data to create targeted marketing collateral, combined with award winning design and copywriting to craft engaging content that converts attention into leads. Squaredot’s services include research, strategy, persona development, content production design and promotion.


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