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Ad Net Zero expansion led by advertisers, agency groups, media and trade bodies companies invited to join global efforts to drive rapid change
Leaders from many of the largest companies and associations in the world’s advertising industry have announced their intent to apply learning from the UK and plan the roll out of Ad Net Zero internationally to major markets.
The world’s major advertising agency holding companies, dentsu international, Havas, Interpublic Group, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe and WPP, along with Unilever – one of the world’s largest advertisers, global tech companies, Google and Meta, plus European media company Sky, will be supported by US trade bodies, ANA, 4A’s and the IAB, the WFA representing global advertisers, European and global agency associations, EACA and Voxcomm, and the IAA to extend the Ad Net Zero programme from the UK to other major advertising markets.
Ascential, owners of LIONS, has played a major role in convening this international action to tackle the climate emergency. The group has issued an invitation to more organisations with international reach to join and help support the plans for the roll-out.
The Ad Net Zero programme was launched in the UK in November 2020 by the Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA and counts over 100 advertisers, agencies, commercial media owners and production companies in its membership. All the partners in the global coalition are supporters in the UK and are committed to build plans to extend Ad Net Zero into other major markets.
The focus of the new Ad Net Zero group will be to rapidly establish plans for roll-out in major advertising markets with immediate focus on the US and the EU, working in partnership with the UK team. The next update will be presented at the Ad Net Zero Global Summit which will take place online on November 9 and 10, alongside COP27. Going forward, progress will be shared and discussed at Cannes Lions each summer and the Global Summit each November, in line with the COP event, to maintain momentum during this critical decade.
The Ad Net Zero 5-point action plan pledges to reduce the carbon emissions from UK advertising operations to net zero by 2030, with businesses committing to robust, verified plans to reduce their emissions. It also pledges to use the power of advertising to accelerate the switch to more sustainable products and services for consumers. The UK programme provides a roadmap for development in other markets, with the flexibility to adapt and develop-market specific solutions. It offers tools readily available internationally, like the AdGreen carbon calculator to help to measure and reduce emissions from advertising production.
Bob Liodice, CEO, ANA, said: “Reducing carbon emissions in our industry is central to addressing one of the biggest challenges we face as a marketing community. The ANA is proud to participate in Ad Net Zero and will vigorously support its global ambition to promote the development of sustainable products and services through advertising and marketing.”
Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO of the 4A’s, said: “Agencies have the responsibility to stay ahead of issues and trends impacting the industry like sustainability not just for internal purposes, but to help influence the brands they support. From responding to the climate crisis to infusing creative solutions that highlights sustainable commerce — agencies are partnering with brands now more than ever to help them navigate as well as educate and expand the understanding of what this means and what we can do to support. Initiatives like Ad Net Zero help set the standard for where we need to take our focus with the industry in the U.S.”
Stephan Loerke, CEO, World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), said: “Climate change is the defining issue of our age not just for the ad industry but for society at large. Marketers have a key role to play in persuading consumers to adopt behaviours that lead to a more sustainable future. The international launch of Ad Net Zero is a crucial first step in terms of getting our own house in order and ensuring its own operations go net zero. It perfectly complements the WFA Planet Pledge, which provides a framework for marketers to lead in driving consumer behaviour change.”
David Cohen, Chief Executive, IAB, said: “Perspective is everything. There is nothing more important than the health of our planet and the legacy that we leave the generations that follow us. IAB and its members fully support the AdNet Zero initiative and look forward to working with the industry to bring sustainability to the forefront of the digital marketing ecosystem.”
The global advertising industry, as measured by advertising media investment, was worth $594,322bn in 2020. The top 20 advertising markets account for 89.3% of this spend and these markets will be the focus for the rollout of the programme following the US and Europe.
Ad Net Zero received a WFA President’s Award at Global Marketer Week in Athens earlier this year, in recognition of the cross-industry collaboration to drive essential operational change. The global roll-out follows formation of the first international chapter of Ad Net Zero in Ireland, led by the country’s trade association, the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI).
The second Ad Net Zero Global Summit will take place on November 9-10 as an online event, free to attend for all advertising professionals from around the world. The summit’s agenda will cover the progress being made on the implementation of Ad Net Zero and the challenges to be tackled by the world’s advertising community.