THURSDAY 21 JUN 2018 11:14 AM


“We have the opportunity to genuinely change the world for the good,” said Andrew Clarke, CMO at Mars Inc. He spoke about Mars’ role as founding partner in a new initiative supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Australian production company FINCH and other partners, called the Lion’s Share. The foundation was launched today at the Cannes Lions festival.

The foundation was developed to encourage better relationships between brands and the environment, promoting conservation and environmental responsibility among major corporate advertisers. The idea is simple: companies that use animals in their advertising are encouraged to voluntarily take part in the foundation by donating a percentage of their media buy to animal conservation.

“We use animals to help us tell stories and feel things. Animals are a tried and true way for us to sell more products, but real animals in the wild are not doing too well,” said Finch’s founder Rob Galluzzo. He, through the Lion’s Share, wants to encourage companies to give something back to animals in return for the use of their images. The collaborative nature of the project is key for the UNDP administrator Achim Steiner, he said, “[Conservation] requires more than environmental professionals to care and think about it.”

The new programme seeks to tackle that issue, bringing together brands and conservation partners to encourage business to do more good in the environment.

Clarke said Mars’ commitment to sustainability is one driven by the family-owned business’ long-term focus and purpose, “Purpose can make a difference. Done authentically, a purpose behind the brand makes a huge difference to the bottom line.”

For Mars, though, the initiative’s objectives also align with the business’ aims. “Our biggest business is pet care,” Clarke said. “It’s about 45% of our business, so every single pet care advert we show features an animal; features a pet. On the confectionery side with Skittles, we have an advent featuring a giraffe. We’re a proud pet business and that’s one of the reasons why we got involved.” But, he added, the long term approach to sustainability is one that has driven the organisation’s commitment to sustainability across its programmes and involvement. “We think in generations; we think in the long run. It fits with us, but the power is going to be in the long run, in doing this together.”

The programme, which seeks to raise $100m per year within its first three years of operation, has also been supported by Sir David Attenborough, who says, “Animals are in 20% of all advertisements we see. Yet, they do not always receive the support they deserve. Until now.”