Havas, Omnicom tackle climate crisis by joining advertising alliance

climate crisis

Two of the world’s biggest advertising groups have become founding members of a new industry alliance aimed at addressing the climate crisis by changing the type of client work made by agencies.

Climate crisis

Havas and Omnicom are now part of The #ChangeTheBrief Alliance – a partnership between agencies of every type, and their clients, learning and acting together to directly address the challenge of the climate crisis by promoting sustainability via every channel available to them.

The #ChangeTheBrief Alliance will launch at an online event today (Tuesday 13 July). 

Speakers include Stephen Woodford of the Advertising Association, Elisa Tonda, Head of Consumption and Production at UN Environment Programme and founding members including Patrick Affleck, CEO of Havas Media Group and Nicki Hare, Chief Development Officer of Omnicom Media Group.  Rob McFaul, co-founder of Purpose Disruptors will be hosting the event.

The Alliance was identified as a flagship initiative to deliver on Action 5 of the Advertising Association’s Ad Net Zero initiative.

Action 5 calls for the agencies and clients to harness the power of their advertising to promote sustainable consumer choices and behaviours.

Ad Net Zero members and founding members of the #ChangeBrief Alliance, Havas and Omnicom are first out of the blocks to recognise they can direct their creative and strategic firepower to be in service of a zero-carbon world.  

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From mid-September, their staff across the likes of Havas London, Havas Media, adam&eveDDB, AMV, TBWA, RAPP, PHD, OMD, MG OMD and Hearts & Science will have access to the Alliance learning programme and community to help shift their work to only promote sustainable lifestyles.

Alliance learning programme

The Alliance learning programme  is designed to generate a new skill set within the industry.

Comms experts that can confidently generate sustainable behaviours in audiences and with that help their organisation and partners in their transition to a zero-carbon world.

The idea of #ChangeTheBrief originated with Mindshare, who asked Purpose Disruptors to help move it from a single agency initiative to the collective power of the entire industry working together via #ChangeTheBrief Alliance supported by a learning and community platform.  

Alliance members recognise it is an act of leadership to work collectively. No one network or agency can drive the change required at sufficient scale and speed.

The climate crisis is a ‘bigger than self’ problem, and the Alliance represents a rare opportunity for the industry to act as one. Alliance members join with an open and collaborative attitude, with a desire to change the future, to stimulate and share ideas that can change the world and to work together for a better future.

Membership is open to all agencies, networks, media owners and client-side organisations.

Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association said: “The UK’s transition to a net zero economy is a critical moment for our industry – it is vital we do everything in our power to support the government’s ambitions. 

“As such, the ChangeTheBrief Alliance is a powerful movement which we wholeheartedly support.

Patrick Affleck, CEO of Havas Media Group, said: “At Havas, our ambition is to make a meaningful difference to the brands, the businesses, and the lives of the people we work with. 

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“We believe we have a role in building a sustainable future and making the world a better place. Central to this is our commitment to collaborative efforts in reducing climate change. 

Nicki Hare, Chief Development Officer at Omnicom Media Group, said: “We are witnessing an environmental crisis and it is incumbent on us all to bring about behaviour change. 

“#ChangeTheBrief Alliance provides us with the opportunity to accelerate this change by supporting our agency teams to learn and adopt sustainable skills, behaviours and knowledge and work collaboratively and creatively with our clients and partners to deliver a net zero industry. 

Marco Rimini, Global Chief Development Officer at Mindshare added: “I’m delighted that an idea born at Mindshare to give our people power to respond to the Climate Crisis is now finding an industry wide voice- the more people join the better”

Rob McFaul, Co-Founder of The Purpose Disruptors and #ChangeTheBrief advisor at Mindshare, commented: “The Alliance launch is a significant moment, when the industry demonstrates it will act on the opportunity and responsibility it has to bring forward a thriving zero-carbon world.  

“As architects of desire, the advertising industry can play a critical role in shifting consumers towards more sustainable values, attitudes and behaviours.”