Top industry leaders sign open letter pledging to tackle climate crisis

A summit taking place this month will address practical ways to limit global warming.

Extinction Rebellion: called on adland to tackle climate crisis (picture credit: Extinction Rebellion)
Extinction Rebellion: called on adland to tackle climate crisis (picture credit: Extinction Rebellion)

The ad industry is throwing its weight behind the climate crisis, staging a summit this month to assess and advance the sector's response.

Agencies have also collaborated on an open letter signalling the industry's intention to make a real difference.The letter has attracted co-signatures from more than 50 leaders across the sector, including Lucky Generals chief executive Katie Lee, MediaCom UK chief executive Josh Krichefski, Droga5 London chief creative officer David Kolbusz and Portas chief creative officer Mary Portas.

Other agencies represented on the list include Group M, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Wieden & Kennedy and Amplify.

The letter outlines how the ad industry has at times been complicit, knowingly or unknowingly, in exacerbating the climate crisis and what it can do going forward to limit climate change.

The Climate Crisis summit, organised by the Purpose Disruptors and The Comms Lab, will take place on 25 June in London. It will address how the ad industry can help limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2030.

Pauline Robson, managing partner at MediaCom and member of the Purpose Disruptors network, said: "We come from different agencies, united by a deep concern about climate change and an understanding that there’s so much as industry we can do to tackle it. For lots of us, this is the first time we’ve done anything like this – we hope this is the start of a movement within the industry."

Jonathan Wise, co-founder of The Comms Lab, added: "The remarkable interest and support for the letter we have written clearly demonstrates many, many people across the industry also want to step into the climate challenge and take action. The event is a way for this wider community to gather and determine, together, what we can do. It's really inspiring what is happening here."

Last month, campaign group Extinction Rebellion wrote an open letter to the ad industry, urging it to act on climate destruction. 


The open letter in full

Dear Advertising,

The science is clear. We’ve only got 10 years to transform society to limit climate change to 1.5°C. This will require commitment from all sectors of society, including the advertising industry. Given that as an industry, we are unclear what actions we need to take, we’re inviting others who share our concern and desire to help, to an event on June 25th.

We are aware that as an industry, we have at times been complicit, knowingly or unknowingly, in exacerbating our current climate crisis through promoting unsustainable consumption on behalf of our clients. Yet, the very skills that have been used to shape the values, attitudes and behaviours of consumerism can also be used to help shift society to more sustainable ways of living. What do we need to start, stop and continue doing? What does industry leadership look like in the face of the climate crisis? Our choices now as an industry can help make the difference to the future of life on earth.

On June 25th, we’re going to be convening industry leaders in London to get practical about how we can tackle the climate crisis together. Join us. Can the industry come together and mobilise to stand up for the climate? Let’s tackle the biggest and most exciting brief we’ve ever been given. Let’s choose which side of history we want to be on.

Signatories

Toby Allen, creative partner, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Helen Andrews, managing director, Wieden & Kennedy
Matt Andrews, chief strategy officer, RocketMill
Ben Armistead, chief strategy officer, Wieden & Kennedy
Pete Bardell, co-founder, Revolt
Beth Bentley, chief strategy officer, Portas
Martin Beverley, executive strategy director, Adam & Eve/DDB
Arlo Brady, chief executive, Freud Communications
Rob Campbell, chief strategy officer, EMEA, R/GA
Roy Capon, chief executive, Zone
Bobi Carley, head of media, ISBA
Will Collin, strategy lead, Karmarama
Alaina Crystal, deputy head of strategy, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Heather Cuss, joint managing director, Droga5 London
Tony Davidson, executive creative director, Wieden & Kennedy
Jonathan Emmins, founder, Amplify
Jon Forsyth, partner, Neverland
Grace Francis, chief experience officer, Droga5 London
Adam Fulford, chief strategy officer, Proximity London
Tom George, chief executive, Group M UK
Mark Graeme, head of flare, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Natalie Graeme, co-founder, Uncommon Creative Studio
Hannah Harrison, head of sustainability, WPP
Emma Hart, chief executive and founder, Push PR
Fergus Hay, chief executive, Leagas Delaney
Pete Heskett, strategy director, Droga5 London
Flo Heiss, creative director, Wieden & Kennedy
Simon Hewitt, business partner, Engine
James Hillhouse, co-founder, Commercial Break
Michael Hines, planning partner, Saatchi & Saatchi
Jenny Howard, senior vice-president, head of strategy, Sunshine
Paul Hutchison, chief executive, Wavemaker UK
Claire Hyland, head of The Youth Lab, Thinkhouse
Tim Irwin, chief executive, EMEA, Essence
Rosie Kitson, joint head of strategy and co-lead, Mindshare Purpose
David Kolbusz, chief creative officer, Droga5 London
Josh Krichefski, chief executive, MediaCom UK
Katie Lee, chief executive, Lucky Generals
Alex Lewis, co-founder, Revolt
Rebecca Lewis, joint managing director, Droga5 London
Jonny Madderson, co-founder, Just So
Jane McDaid, founder, Thinkhouse
Rob McFaul, co-lead, Mindshare Purpose
Helen McRae, UK chief executive and chair of western Europe, Mindshare
Mary Portas, chief creative officer, Portas
Marco Rimini, global chief development officer, Mindshare
Hugh Robertson, chief executive and founder, RPM
Paolo Salamao, head of account management, Wieden & Kennedy
Irene Sandler, vice-president, marketing, Cognizant
Bill Scott, chief executive, Droga5 London
Jen Smith, founder, Craft Media
Jono Stevens, co-founder, Just So
Iain Tait, executive creative director, Wieden & Kennedy
Tom Tapper, co-founder, Nice and Serious
Jonathan Trimble, chief executive, And Rising
Caireen Wackett, chief executive, Portas
Chris Watling, head of production, Droga5 London
Sally Weavers, founder, Craft Media
Tim Whirledge, strategy director, Droga5 London
Dylan Williams, chief strategy officer, Droga5 London
James Drummond, managing partner, Uncommon Creative Studio

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