Cannes Lions

GDPR campaign


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Case Film
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Personal data is the lifeblood of the global digital industry but poorly regulated. Lack of global rules allowed big players to collect and sell personal data, leaving users living in the EU vulnerable and with limited control over their information. GDPR changed this situation dramatically and has the potential to become an international gold standard for data protection.


2 out of 3 EU citizens are concerned about not having control over the information they provide online. Time to tell them how the legislation empowers them.

Our task?

-Develop a new public relations campaign to help consumers and companies understand GDPR.

-Create buzz about a topic that normally drifts past people’s attention.


We set out to:

-have large national media outlets report about GDPR at least once

-inform companies about their new GDPR obligations

-inform citizens about their new rights regarding data


Sources such as EU hotlines and social media comments provided the key audience insight that there was strong appetite for reliable information about the new rules.

We needed a simple but impactful visual idea to brand all EU information activities to be easily recognisable by citizens and companies alike.

This new PR and creative campaign would take European Commission consumer protection awareness activities to a new level.

The plan? Run a targeted PR campaign to convince every tech journalist to run a story on the upcoming law. Resulting coverage and conversation from this and supporting activities would create the impact we were looking for.

We adapted the design to showcase the rights and obligations across all online and offline collaterals.



It’s easy to feel powerless against internet giants and organisations with their own agenda. It comes down to trust and transparency. Helping people know who has what data, how it’s used (or misused), and how to be in the driver’s seat. It seemed a no-brainer to execute a digitally-connected campaign and reach the very people the legislation would affect.

Key message:

Take back control of your data

Target audience:

Our digital strategy applied “diffusion of innovations” theory to maximise momentum by targeting early adopters. Targeted journalists and digital platforms then shared the love by running stories on GDPR with citizens and businesses in the EU and beyond.

Creation and distribution of assets:

-Website and brochures in 22 languages

-Localised messages and media material

-Videos, interviews and speeches

-Ads (business magazines (print), Facebook, LinkedIn, Google AdWords, Ligatus Content Discovery)



We created a matrix of multipliers combining internal EC departments (including representations and delegations abroad) with contracted PR agencies across the EU.

A dedicated and diverse team tailored our message and outreach locally. This helped spread the word quickly and the results showed.

Timeline (2018)

- January: Data Protection Day media event

- February/March: Paid campaign for SMEs (LinkedIn, Print, Facebook)

- May-June: PR campaign for citizens (localised PR & events + paid campaign on Facebook, Google AdWords and Ligatus content discovery)


While this campaign was specifically rolled out for EU citizens and small-to-medium enterprises in EU Member States, there has no doubt been global impact on how we handle personal information online. Countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa have taken inspiration from GDPR when drafting their data privacy legislation.

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