Marcoms groups throw their weight behind CSR agenda

Leading marcoms groups are putting fresh faith in corporate social responsibility by setting up dedicated consultancies.

OgilvyEarth: UN Climate Change Conference
OgilvyEarth: UN Climate Change Conference

The launch of two CSR units is being viewed as further proof of the discipline’s critical importance to the comms agenda even in a recession.

Ogilvy & Mather this week rolled out OgilvyEarth, a multi-disciplinary international offering that will see PR play a prominent role. ‘The biggest issue on the planet is the environment,’ said Ogilvy PR Europe MD Ash Coleman-Smith, who will jointly lead OgilvyEarth in London.

‘People may not be prepared to pay for things that are environmentally friendly short-term. But that doesn’t mean their opinions of environmentally friendly organisations will change.’ The agency’s first key project is a social media campaign for Dec­ember’s UN Climate Change Conference.

Meanwhile, the Engine Group is launching a new CSR consultancy called Green Mandate. It has hired Robert Nuttall, the former managing partner of CSR agency Clownfish and ex-head of CSR at Marks & Spencer, to head up the new venture.

He will rep­ort to Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Engine’s public affairs and PR agency Mandate Communications.

Deshmukh said: ‘We’re not seeing a difference to the client base in terms of CSR – it’s still generating strong dem­and.’ He said Green Mandate was in the process of signing contracts with clients in the automotive, retail and soft-drink sector.

Huntsworth Group CEO Lord Chadlington said CSR had survived the recession in rude health: ‘There was a fear that CSR might be regarded as a bull market phenomenon. But quite the opposite. It is now regarded as a central plank of doing business.


CSR moves

15 May Coca-Cola gives six-figure ‘recycling’ brief to Exposure

13 May Woolworths brings in Hill & Knowlton for CSR brief

22 April Microsoft cuts CSR PR budget

27 January Thomson Local hands six-figure brief to 3 Monkeys Communications

14 January McDonald’s brings in Futerra for internal CSR programme

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