Environmental, Social and Governance criteria in media investment; helping brands deliver principle-driven growth
Ruben Schreurs, Group Chief Product Officer
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
We can help change our world – through responsible investments."
This is the opening statement in the video Ebiquity released today at the World Federation of Advertisers’ Global Marketer Week 2021. The sustainability and longevity of our industry, we believe, lies at the heart of driving future growth for all. This year’s WFA conference – focusing on Better Society, Better World and Better Growth – brings together the world’s most prominent brand leaders to share views and seek solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the global marketing community.
Sustainability is one of the key drivers of positive change and making informed choices on where to place media investments is at the heart of the debate.
Here’s what Steve Pollack, Head of Media Communications, Nestlé UK & IE, says on the issue:
We believe that brands should stop being indiscriminate about their spends and focus on trading with media and platforms that match their own environmental, diversity, and sustainability policies and ideals. Media can be a force for good, and we are actively exploring at Nestlé how our media choices can be more responsible. The world we live in has changed and it is wonderful that there are now the tools available to help brands make conscious choices about where to spend their budgets – there are no more excuses.”
There have been several excellent industry initiatives over recent years, including the WFA’s own ‘Global Alliance for Responsible Media’ (GARM), and its American-based sister initiative ‘Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media’ (PRAM). Advertising trade bodies across the world are debating how to address this topic. At Ebiquity’s own Client Council – made up of our clients’ most senior brand leaders – recent discussion has turned to the shared responsibility that Heads of Media have to insure they invest their media budgets in a more responsible and sustainable way.
Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA, adds:
It is great to see this level of commitment from Ebiquity, helping brands drive change through better media investments. We very much welcome practical solutions that drive the responsible media agenda forward."
What is required now are practical solutions to help clients invest in media with a conscience. Both the industry initiatives and dedicated startups in this field are inspiring and filled with potential. At Ebiquity, in partnership with our clients and our global network of media experts, we also have been focusing on how to put ideas into practice.
To help advertisers adopt Responsible Media principles, Ebiquity is launching a first-of-its-kind solution that enables brands to track their global media investments against Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance criteria. These are the same criteria now being used by investors to assess their levels of investment in responsible organisations.
Our Ebiquity ‘ESG framework’ for media investments offers clients global oversight of their exposure against key sustainability criteria, including: a media or tech platform’s policy and track record on diversity and equal opportunity, environmental sustainability, and efforts to improve consumer privacy and data protection. We provide practical direction to help brands improve investment decisions and demonstrate to their own boards and shareholders that they are investing with a conscience. Our solution offers structured reporting against these efforts, providing tangible evidence that brands are supporting like-minded, responsible, and accountable media and technology partners.
One of our primary differentiators at Ebiquity is our independence, and this also sits at the heart of our Responsible Media solution. We identify credible and validated data sources that provide objective information about the corporations our clients work with, covering both media owners and technology partners. We bring this data together with the tens of billions in ad investments that we already source and monitor on behalf of our clients, and in this way highlight opportunities to invest more responsibly while at the same time improving returns. In other words, we provide the hard evidence that can enable Principle-Driven Growth.
Our commitment runs deep, in line with our own internal priorities to continuously improve our business and its positive impact on society and the planet. We are delighted that we can now also help brands drive their own agendas in this space.
Specifically, today we can announce:
• The appointment of Francesca Leronni as our dedicated Group Director of Responsible Media. She will work closely with our clients and partners to realise Principle-Driven Growth
• The launch of our Responsible Media Solution, with an initial focus on:
o Diversity & Equality of Opportunity
o Environmental Sustainability
o Privacy by Design & Data Protection
• Our ongoing commitment of scaled resources to industry initiatives such as GARM
Aligned with WFA’s Global Marketer Week theme of Build Back Better, we believe that now is the time for brands to pursue Principle-Driven Growth and to use media investment to drive positive change.
Article by Debbie Morrison, Managing Director Global Partnerships, and Ruben Schreurs, Group Chief Product Officer