SEATTLE: Omnicom-owned ad agency DDB launched the DDB Brand Integrity Group (BIG), a PR practice designed to augment brand-building efforts for corporate clients with its cause-marketing expertise.
The practice, which takes advantage of firm resources from the ad and advocacy sides, "draws on [our] experience working on issues, as well as DDB's history and talent in uncovering consumer truths," said Arlene Fairfield, managing partner, DDB BIG.
While DDB's DC-based issues and advocacy group has handled social-issues work for more than a decade.
"We never thought out working directly with corporations," she said. "The focus has been more on issues themselves."
Fairfield said DDB BIG offers a bridge between the corporation and social-issues groups. "[We want to] get consumers' attention and alter behavior," she added.
In addition, Fairfield noted, for each DDB BIG effort, "we'll look at the goals of the nonprofit and the company" involved, and craft messages that are influential and relevant to both.
Fairfield said DDB BIG offers "a different experience" in that the firm's strength is in building creatively driven global brands.
According to DDB, this is the first instance of a global ad agency offering a service such as this. "[Clients] will no longer need to go to a separate firm to execute their cause-marketing strategies," an agency representative said.
DDB BIG is co-led by New York-based account supervisor Pamela Long. Also on the leadership team is San Francisco-based CSR strategist and author Christine Arena.