News | Published April 26 2019

Data and Marketing Association: No deal could threaten UK creative industries

Following news that Theresa May has cancelled plans to hold a fourth vote on her withdrawal deal before next week’s local elections, it is clear that some businesses are still feeling the effects of Brexit uncertainty. Although a lot of the discussion is centred on the implications on the manufacturing industry, especially following the closure of several Honda plants, uncertainty is not limited to one sector; it affects different businesses in different ways.

Zach Thornton is the External Affairs Manager at the Data & Marketing Association. The training arm of the DMA, the Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing, featured in the Review in September. 

He explains the effects that Brexit has had on the data and marketing industry, stating that leaving without a deal could threaten the global status of the UK’s creative industries.

Thornton told the Review: “The UK has extended the official deadline to leave the EU and this continued uncertainty will inevitably have serious ramifications for the wider economy.

“Data underpins the work of the creative industries, especially advertising and marketing, and the frictionless trade in data between companies working across Europe is crucial to the sector.

“The UK’s 2018 Data Protection Act will ensure we maintain similar standards to the GDPR post-Brexit. However, a no-deal Brexit will cause a cessation of the free flow of data between the UK and EU. It will cause significant damage to the industry.

“The UK will have to apply for adequacy status after we have left the EU, which could take months. Adequacy status certifies that a country outside the EU or EEA adheres to data protection standards that are essentially equivalent to the EU’s. Once concluded, data transfers between the country with adequacy status and EU member states can take place freely.

“Applying for adequacy status could easily become a political process for the UK. A number of EU regulators have already flagged data protection concerns related to the UK’s surveillance laws and data sharing agreements with other countries, particularly the United States. This is blowback from the Edward Snowden revelations about the snooping and wiretapping of the NSA and GCHQ.

“In the event of a no-deal Brexit, or if the UK does not receive adequacy status, organisations will have to use alternative legal mechanisms to facilitate data flows. UK organisations will need to use standard contractual clauses to facilitate data flows with their EU-based partners and clients.

“In short, a no-deal Brexit or a Brexit deal that doesn’t maintain the free flow of data opposes the interests of the data and marketing industry as a whole. A no-deal on data would cause immediate and complete ceasing of large portions of UK data-flows with EU countries, a practice through which enormous amounts of business is conducted. Indeed, 75 per cent of the UK’s cross-border data flows are with the EU.

“The free flow of data is critically important and must be preserved with minimal disruption. Uncertainty over its future could potentially threaten the global status of the UK’s creative industries. “


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Authored by

George Salmon
Political Editor
April 26 2019

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