Allison+Partners enlists Edelman's Henk Campher to co-lead social impact group

Campher wants to enliven CSR storytelling: "Who reads a sustainability report? No one, because it is a boring story."

SAN FRANCISCO: Allison+Partners has nabbed Edelman sustainability MD Henk Campher to fill its newly created role of EVP of social impact.

Campher joined Allison+Partners this month, based in San Francisco. He is reporting to the firm’s president for Europe and global corporate, Matthew Della Croce.

The native of South Africa will co-lead the social impact group with Allison+Partners cofounder Scott Pansky, who will continue to oversee the agency’s cause marketing and nonprofit marketing communications services.

Campher is specifically tasked with expanding the firm’s global capabilities in corporate citizenship, CSR, and sustainability.

"We know consumers are increasingly looking for meaning in their relationship with brands, so I will be helping clients to navigate that world of building new and deeper relationships around the meaning behind their brand and where they intersect with societal needs," Campher explained.

Campher will also build a practice at Allison+Partners focused on breaking away from the traditional "earnest and boring" way CSR, sustainability, and philanthropy is approached.

"Who reads a sustainability report? No one, because it is a boring story," he said. "We are simple storytellers. So I will be building a practice that disrupts and turns over the apple cart a bit in this space."

Before joining Allison+Partners, Campher worked at Edelman for six years, most recently as SVP of the firm’s business and social purpose practice and MD of sustainability. While at Edelman, Campher provided strategic counsel to clients including eBay, Kellogg's, The North Face, SCJohnson, Johnson & Johnson, and Unilever on CSR and sustainability issues.

Campher left Edelman in July. A representative from the firm was not immediately available to comment on whether he will be replaced.

Carol Cone also departed her role as chair of Edelman’s business and social purpose practice three months ago. Cone has been developing a consultancy focused on helping clients build purpose into their core business strategies called Carol Cone On Purpose, which is slated to launch in early September.

Earlier in his career, Campher was VP for corporate responsibility at Cone, director of corporate policy and practices for the International Business Leaders Forum, and policy adviser for the private sector for Oxfam.

This story was updated to correct Campher's title. He is an EVP at Allison+Partners.

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