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Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

The first quarter of the year is always interesting. It shapes what the next nine months might look like and sets the tone for advertisers and brands. This quarter was no different — it delivered a great deal of news and trends for marketers to unpack and comprehend. But with so many topics covered, what were some of the biggest takeaways?

Even as marketers struggle with Facebook’s changes in privacy permissions — Tinder was toast recently — the social media network’s CEO and co-founder is getting ready to testify to Congress next week. On Wednesday, he will speak to congressional committees to explain the alleged misuse of data by Cambridge Analytica, which obtained the data from Facebook via a third-party app.

Facebook privacy is now about transparency and restoring user trust, says Facebook in its post about adding tools and making protecting data easier. In a quick response, the Association of National Advertisers urges the social network: Do what you mean, mean what you say.

GDP what? That question sums up the main problem American marketers are having with the fast-approaching deadline to comply with the European Union’s privacy regulations. They don’t understand it and many of them don’t even think it applies to them. But starting on May 25, all — every single one — of the European Union’s citizens will be protected by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), whether they’re in Europe or not. And whether the businesses they patronize are in Europe or not. So we created a guide for marketers on GDPR compliance.

McDonald’s is the latest fast-food chain needing to do some crafty chicken-related marketing. In addition to assuring "Rick and Morty" show fans that on Monday, its U.S. restaurants will have “20 million packets of Szechuan Sauce,” the chain created a three-part podcast series to explain the sauce shortage in October that caused riots.

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