Brands must have 'positive impact' on society, says Sky boss

Big businesses need to "reach well beyond" their day-to-day activities and begin to have a positive effect on the communities in which they operate, according to Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch.

Sky: brand ambassador David Beckham and Sir Michael Parkinson at the Sky Academy launch event
Sky: brand ambassador David Beckham and Sir Michael Parkinson at the Sky Academy launch event

Darroch, who was speaking at the launch of the Sky Academy, a CSR initiative which aims to use the broadcaster’s expertise in television, creativity and sport to create opportunities for one million young people, outlined the reasons behind the scheme’s establishment.

He said: "A whole generation of people have been born since Sky launched in 1989 and they and their families are the real bedrock of our business.

"What we want to do is make a step change in the support that we give young people across Britain and Ireland and we want to use our position as a successful media communications company to try and make a big impact on the under-25s a generation – if you like, that has been born through the lifetime of our business."

To a packed studio audience at Sky’s west London HQ, Darroch argued that the route to lasting success was "not just about getting the business strategy right or delivering the next quarter’s results".

He said: I think if you want to be durable as a business and we want to change the narrative, big businesses have got to start to reach well beyond what they do day to day and have a more positive impact on the communities in which they live and work and prosper, and on society more generally.

"Customers are increasingly demanding it of us and I think that is a trend that is only going to build of the next few years."

At the event, former England footballer David Beckham and Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill were unveiled as Sky Academy ambassadors.

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