CANNES — What can the advertising industry do about climate change?

At the Sustainability & Responsible Marketing Summit during Cannes Lions 2023, presented by Adlook & Sharethrough, experts from diverse sectors of the advertising ecosystem took to the stage to champion actionable sustainability and bring to light intriguing correlation between the principles of profit and purpose:

  • Kaitlin Leary, Head of Global Agency & Brand Partnerships, Scope3
  • Martin Bryan, Global Chief Sustainability Officer, IPG Mediabrands
  • Holly Clark, Global Agency Lead, Oracle
  • Patrick Gut, VP, Head of Sales, US, Adlook

Beyond theory

Martin Bryan, Global Chief Sustainability Officer at IPG Mediabrands, set in motion the dialogue, emphasizing industry-wide accountability and necessary pre-competitive collaboration.

“At IPG Media Brands, we’ve recently invested in the sustainability practice…we’ve set a net zero target as an enterprise 2040,”

Bryan says, laying out the path to action with a series of steps, starting with defining sustainability standards.

‘Sustainability and Profit can Exist Together’

Kaitlin Leary, Head of Global Agency & Brand Partnerships at Scope3 deepened the dialogue spotlighting the crucial role of brands.

She argued for the overlap of planet and profit and stressed how sustainability is evoking interest from the entire C-suite in brands.

Developing on Bryan’s points, Leary stated: “Sustainability is one of the only topics at a brand that will get the involvement of the entire C-suite. It’s important to the chief sustainability officer, the CMO, the CFO, the CCI because we’re now able to link the correlation between carbon and quality.”

‘Overwhelming Continuous Correlation’

With hard-hitting findings, Holly Clark, Global Agency Lead at Oracle, directed the conversation towards highlighting the tangible evidence supporting the benefits of sustainability in advertising.

The basis of her argument was the striking correlation between attention, quality, performance, and emissions that formulated an ‘overwhelming composite metric’.

Clark also stressed on the existence of actionable measures to reduce the carbon footprint of the brands, for instance, the 6% of ads not hitting MRC verification, stating, “This is all wasted carbon…those tools are out there today.”

Tech as an Enabler for Responsible Advertising

Patrick Gut, Vice President, Head of Sales at Adlook, asserted the role of technology in making sustainability actionable.

Adlook, the ‘cookie-less DSP’, focuses on sustainable brand growth and attempts to reduce the carbon emissions in the process, validating the intersection of performance and sustainability.

Gut revealed: “When you look at Venn diagrams, sustainability on its own without action is idealistic. You overlay the two and that’s where responsibility comes in. Responsible media drives bottom line growth for brands.”

From Inaction to Action: This Must be the Way Forward

Ending the high-stake discussions around sustainable advertising, the panel stressed the need to ‘take action’.

“Inaction is unacceptable. Just take an action. There are partners out there that will help you do it,” urged Leary inviting everyone to embark on the journey towards a ‘sustainable advertising space.’

Clark reflected on the power of vulnerability and honesty as a launchpad for innovation, whereas Gut advocated for an immediate shift towards a sustainable point of view on all actions moving forward, underlining the intersection of profit and purpose.

The panel spotlighted the pivotal role of brands, technology, data, and collaboration in shaping a future reshaped by sustainability commitments. The unanimous call to action was: ’embracing and activating sustainability measures in advertising is not just the right thing to do—for the planet and for profit—it’s also an urgent necessity’.

You’re watching coverage of the Sustainability & Responsible Marketing Summit at Cannes Lions 2023, presented by Adlook & Sharethrough. For more videos from Beet.TV’s Cannes Lions 2023 coverage, please visit this page.