The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), FINCH and founding partner Mars, have asked businesses using animals in their advertisements to contribute a percentage of their media spend to conservation and animal welfare projects.
On Tuesday, UNDP announced a fund called The Lion’s Share that will see partners contribute 0.5 percent of their media spend to the fund for each advertisement they use featuring an animal.
Those funds will be used to support animals and their habitats around the world. Mars is the first advertising partner in The Lion’s Share.
“Animals are in 20 percent of all advertisements we see. Yet, they do not always receive the support they deserve. Until now.” said Lion’s Share Special Ambassador Sir David Attenborough.
“The Lion’s Share shows that by making a small difference today, we have an opportunity to make an unprecedented difference tomorrow,” Sir David added.
Locally, some of the firms that use animals in their ads or logos include Kenya Commercial Bank (Lion), Nakumatt Chain (Elephant) and East Africa Breweries Limited which uses elephant to advertise its Tusker brand.
The Fund, which will be hosted by UNDP, is seeking to raise Sh10 billion ( USD100 million) a year within three years. The money will be invested in a range of wildlife conservation and animal welfare programs to be implemented by United Nations and civil society organizations. Other partners include advertising network BBDO and leading measurement company Nielsen.
“Wildlife and their habitats are in crisis right now. We are losing species at an unprecedented rate, estimated to be 1,000 times the natural extinction rate. The Lion’s Share is an idea that is as innovative as it is simple, and which will make a real impact on the future of animals, their habitats and our planet,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.
Andrew Clarke, Chief Marketing and Customer Officer at founding partner Mars, said the fund would be a powerful way for business to leave a lasting legacy.
“The Lion’s Share is exactly the sort of ambitious initiative we need to take in order to ensure we foster a healthy planet on which everyone – including animals – can thrive. For Mars, it’s another step in living the commitments of our Sustainable in a Generation plan,” he said.
“We’re passionate about wildlife conservation and maintaining the biodiversity absolutely necessary for our planet. And animals need our help closer to home, too. We urge other companies and brands to join us in The Lion’s Share to help build a movement to tackle these critical issues,” Clarke added.
Rob Galluzzo, founder of FINCH said: “Nine out of the 10 most popular animals we see in commercials are actually endangered or threatened and they do not always receive the support they deserve. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. Christopher had this amazing idea to solve this and we at FINCH set out to make it happen. We have partnered with Clemenger BBDO to bring the concept to life."
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