CR in our client work

Successful brands have always needed creative and compelling marketing. Today, this is more important than ever. Concerns about climate change and poverty have fuelled interest in green and fair trade products. In many regions, businesses are subject to a growing volume of regulation and increased scrutiny from pressure groups, the media and the public on a wide range of social and environmental issues.

Leading companies are responding positively, by embedding ethical values in their brands and developing products with a reduced social or environmental footprint. They need effective marketing to communicate the social and environmental benefits and make these new products desirable to the mass market.

Many of our companies have expertise in this area and are developing bespoke sustainability services for their clients. Current examples include:

  • Team P&G’s S-Team (Sustainability Team) at WPP includes Added Value, Bridge, Fitch, G2, The Futures Company, Hill & Knowlton, Landor and Penn, Schoen & Berland. Acting as an integrated offering, they help Procter & Gamble understand consumer attitudes, manage stakeholder relations and communicate its sustainability initiatives.
  • OgilvyEarth is Ogilvy’s practice area dedicated to sustainability communications. Founded in late 2006, the network now has hubs in 12 offices globally and encompasses several Ogilvy companies: Ogilvy & Mather, Ogilvy Public Relations, OgilvyOne, OgilvyAction and OgilvyEntertainment. OgilvyEarth offers a range of strategic consulting tools to help clients lead and leverage the opportunity in sustainability. It is guided by a panel of global experts who share the belief that sustainability is the business opportunity of the 21st century. Current clients include Unilever, Siemens, The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft, DuPont, WWF and the UN.

In the case studies section, we profile campaigns for clients which contain work with an environmental or social impact. This work is indicative of a trend emerging in many markets around the world.

In their own words

Alison Eyles-Owen Hill &Knowlton, leads P&G's S-team at WPP

Team P&G’s S-Team (Sustainability Team) at WPP enables all Procter & Gamble brands to access best-in-class expertise and experience on sustainability. We collaborate with our partner agencies to inspire P&G on its sustainability journey and accelerate change by connecting brands with consumers and other stakeholders.

This is a growing opportunity, particularly in Europe and North America. In the past, marketing communications was often seen as adding benefit to the sales function. Today consumers want great products and to be confident that the companies they buy from are behaving responsibly. Marketing communication is used as a powerful tool to differentiate brands and positively influence consumer behaviour. If you engage hearts and minds you create a stronger bond with your brand and generate benefits for society and the environment.

There are risks involved. Companies need to get their messages absolutely spot on and, above all, make sure they deliver on their promises. Otherwise the impact on reputation and even share price can be severe. We need to think differently about the talent we hire and how we develop their skills. Our specialist training helps individuals better understand business sustainability issues and give the right counsel to our clients.

In the short term, the economic downturn has diverted some attention from these issues and brands are placing greater emphasis on cost and value. But in the long term, however, we expect sustainability issues to be a greater part of all brand communications.

Alison Eyles-Owen
Hill &Knowlton, leads P&G's S-team at WPP