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Media agencies Havas and Dentsu evolving to include diverse and sustainable sources

By John Glenday | Reporter



Social Good article

July 28, 2021 | 4 min read

Two leading media agencies have evolved their product offerings as part of long-term commitments to promote meaningful progress on reaching diverse audiences and championing sustainability.

With the launch of diversity and sustainability-focused programs, rival groups Havas Media Group and Dentsu, who manage a huge proportion of global media spend, are reacting to client demand and are attempting to show the social good the sector can do.


Media agencies Havas and Dentsu evolving to include diverse and sustainable sources

Here’s what they’ve launched.

Havas Media Group’s sustainability marketplace

Havas Media Group has launched a sustainability marketplace, with clients such as EDF, Giffgaff and O2 among the first to sign up to support brands wishing to invest in ethical and responsible advertising.

Brand partners will benefit from access to publishers with a proven track record of building a sustainable media ecosystem that prioritizes environmental, social and economic targets set by the United Nations.

Addressing a related concern, the Havas initiative is seeking to make positive change in a similar manner by speaking up for the planet by directly addressing issues pertaining to the climate crisis as extreme weather events gain frequency around the globe.

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Simon Bevan, chief investment officer, Havas Media Group, said: “At a time when many businesses are increasingly focused on doing the right thing for society and our planet, we felt it was important to offer our clients a way to make a positive impact by investing in more meaningful media, giving them easy access to partners and audiences that share a sustainability agenda.”

Dentsu diversity, equity and inclusion proposition

Dovetailing with this launch is a diversity, equity and inclusion proposition from Dentsu UK focused on seeding authentic connections with as broad an audience as possible.

The proposition is designed to build an alliance of diverse publishers to increase brands’ understanding of underrepresented groups such as the LGBT+ community, minority ethnic groups and the over-50s.

Tailoring client work to speak to these groups in a more authentic and approachable manner, the scheme follows recent studies indicating that 64% of audiences action adverts they considered to be inclusive.

Applying these principles to diversity, Dentsu has identified a three-fold plan to close the ‘inclusivity gap’ by rebalancing biased media data points to reach previously missed groups, overhauling data and measurement metrics that skew toward the mainstream and advising brands how to communicate with all stakeholders.

Hamish Nicklin, chief executive officer, media, Dentsu UK&I, added: “Inclusive media means interrogating every stage of the media process and making sure we are doing everything we can to meet the expectations of our audiences. Society no longer accepts inaction, invisibility or misrepresentation, and it’s inadequate to only be engaging around cultural dates.”

Both solutions dovetail with a groundswell of industry actions designed to demonstrate social good as brands such as Innocent Drinks, ITV and the Ad Council leverage their marketing muscle to effect change.

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