Select Page

Thursday April 22 saw the world unite on Earth Day, an annual event to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was an apt day for OMD Green, a group of passionate individuals from OMD across EMEA, to launch a sustainability planning initiative, a project three months in development that guides clients in making more responsible media choices and elevating their sustainability agenda. 

Kicking off the event, the team invited guest speaker John O’Brien MBE, EMEA managing partner of One Hundred, Omnicom’s ethical purpose consortium, to address the agency on the industry’s responsibility to drive change for the organizations we represent. He highlighted the areas of contradiction our clients are facing on a day-to-day basis. Namely: 

  • Growth is good, but consumption is bad. 

  • Information is ubiquitous, but cynicism is rife. 

  • Quality counts, but issues matter. 

  • Technology binds us but is responsible for social isolation. 

It is clear that regardless of where clients may sit within each juxtaposition, there is a responsibility to guide them and create actionable plans to help deliver on sustainability agendas.  

OMD Green has built a sustainability layer into its end-to-end planning process, OMD Design, to guide clients on how to communicate to consumers authentically and empathically around this critical topic, as well as understand how to best select media partners, and create carbon-neutral media plans.   

  • The ‘Ambition’ stage of OMD Design defines the growth opportunities for our clients, enabling us to identify the right sustainability communication approach based on the client’s agenda and to challenge the brief where there’s an opportunity.

  • The ‘Empathy’ stage aims to build a thorough understanding of the client’s audience by analyzing audience perceptions and experiences with sustainability, and highlighting the gaps and opportunities to best inform the types of messaging and channels suited to achieve the client’s objectives. 

  • The ‘Craft’ is the heart of the media plan. It is where the relevant channel mix, ideas and partners are identified to ensure the authenticity and the reduced impact on the planet are embedded within the media plans.  

  • Finally, ‘Activate’ ensures that the media plans are measured and executed to the best standard, quantifying the impact on the planet and the client’s business, using a bespoke measurement framework and carbon calculator.   

Over the next few weeks OMD will be working closely with strategic research partners to develop and quantify the true impact that the media industry and our client’s investment in communication has on the environment. OMD believes we, and other large global organizations, need to take more than our share of the action, and so this project looks beyond carbon footprint calculations and the energy consumption of media channels, building a richer understanding of the long-term effect investment in advertising has on the climate crisis. 

“The climate emergency is in part a symptom of consumers addressing only what is on the very surface, but all signs point to that mindset changing and [OMD Green] want to be a part of that,” said Jack McLaren, digital partner.

As John O’Brien stated: “This isn’t just any brief – it is the most challenging brief in the world, as it is the world itself.”