The GDPR day of reckoning is upon us.

Two years (or six months, or two weeks, or ten seconds, depending on your level of preparation) of blood, sweat and tears have been leading up to this moment. 

However you’re feeling about GDPR, we can all agree on one thing: the internet-wide frenzy that the new regulation has plunged us into has resulted in some hilarious tweets. Here are eight of our favourites.

The wealthy Nigerian prince

This classic GDPR tweet by Ciarán McGonagle plays on the infamous email scam that involves a user being contacted by a mysterious “Nigerian prince” (or similar), offering to deposit untold amounts of cash into their bank account. All he needs is their financial details.

It’s a great reference, but also recalls the fact that some people will be receiving GDPR opt-in emails from companies they had no idea even held their data. As Parry Malm reminded us in his excellent, no-nonsense piece about GDPR and email marketing: "If you haven’t already been doing your due diligence to obtain positive opt-ins from your subscribers, you’ve simply been doing email marketing wrong."

Finally, an excuse

There’ve been a whole host of great GDPR jokes which satirise the idea of GDPR on an individual level, from your ex contacting you to comply with GDPR, to telling the kids that dinner is on the table.

But this tweet from @ticky cuts right to the heart of the matter – finally, an excuse not to remember anyone’s personal details!

He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice…

Who do we know who systematically retains the personal details of millions of children all over the world, and sorts them into one of two top-secret categories?

Oh, that’s right – Santa Claus.

From today, kids all over the European Union will have the power to request that Santa disclose whether he’s holding their personal data on his “Naughty” or “Nice” list – and request to have that data removed.

Of course, this will mean no presents at all if you opt out of Santa’s list – but it might be preferable to getting coal in your stocking.

So long, and thanks for all the spam

This tweet from @velzzb says what a lot of us as consumers have, admittedly, been thinking about GDPR: ‘Oh, good, an easy way to unsubscribe from that mailing list’.

From an email marketer’s perspective, this is of course less than ideal. No-one likes to see their email lists dwindling before their eyes, or to be faced with the idea of wiping the slate clean and starting again with a much-reduced list.

However, to quote Parry Malm again,

It’s your job to persuade people to want to hear from you. That’s what marketing is.

If your email marketing is on-point, offers your subscribers value, uses the most engaging language possible (including awesome subject lines, obv), your subscribers will trust your brand, engage with your emails and be glad to hear from you.

Presumably, the consumers who use GDPR as a convenient opportunity to unsubscribe from your mailing list weren’t that engaged with your brand to begin with.

As annoying as it might seem, GDPR can provide an opportunity to weed out the unengaged subscribers from your list – and step up your game to retain the ones who are engaged.

Nego il consenso!

A hilarious example of “offline GDPR” from a butcher’s shop in Italy.

Ridiculous, yes, but it isn’t as far removed as it could be from some of the more panicked knee-jerk reactions to GDPR.

Be careful what you name your mailing lists…

While not explicitly related to GDPR, this tweet from Chris Gaffney is an excellent reminder that when users do come to unsubscribe from your mailing lists, if you use MailChimp, they will be able to see what you’ve named the list.

MailChimp tells you as much when you create one:

So be careful what you’re calling your – ahem – less profligate customers where they can see it.

Unusual methods of distribution

The award for the funniest GDPR-compliant opt-in form has to go to comedian Daniel Kitson, who has pre-emptively obtained consent for several unusual methods of contacting people “in case [his] business model shifts DRAMATICALLY in the coming years”:

It’s always good to be proactive about these things.

Harassment, Actually

Ah, Love Actually – the classic Christmas romcom.

Over the years, many people have drawn attention to the fact that the famous (and endlessly parodied) scene with Mark holding up signs outside Juliet’s door to confess his love without her husband hearing is actually pretty dodgy.

As this tweet from @TheAdmiral points out, it’s dodgy from a GDPR perspective, as well.

What are the best tweets that you’ve seen about GDPR? Share your favourite jokes in the comments below.

It's not too late to get to grips with GDPR - book onto Econsultancy's GDPR Essentials for Marketers online course to learn everything you need to know about the new regulation.

Rebecca Sentance

Published 25 May, 2018 by Rebecca Sentance @ Econsultancy

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Comments (4)

Richard Fullerton

Richard Fullerton, New River Marketing

about 1 month ago

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, Founder and Author at Fresh Relevance

about 1 month ago


Jon Jones, Owner at HealthMarketers

GDPR may be a bit like the Millenium bug - there is not the resorces to really manage the ful implementation. Update privacy page, send emails re unsubscribe dothe righ thing but dont swet the small things. Thats what we're doing at anyways.

about 1 month ago


Matt Lovell, Head of Customer Data, Insight & Analytics at Eurostar International Ltd.

There are some brilliant ones aren't there. One of my favourites was actually all the Spotify playlists that cropped up over the past week - some absolute classics in there to get people into the mood!

about 1 month ago

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