IPA urges media agencies to adopt MFG Climate Charter

The Charter forms a key strand of a five-point plan set out by the AA’s Ad Net Zero report.

The IPA’s Media Futures Group (MFG) has today issued a call to media agencies to commit to its Climate Charter to accelerate zero carbon transition for the media agency industry.

The Charter forms a key strand of a five-point plan set out by the Advertising Association’s Ad Net Zero report, published today (18 November 2020), in response to the urgency and scale of the climate crisis caused by CO2 emissions.

The IPA MFG Climate Charter maps out initiatives that are specific to how media agencies can reduce their carbon footprint, as well operational best practice for reducing the impact of doing business and some measures that are universal for all the advertising industry to adopt, such as #ChangeTheBrief and AdGreen, described in the AA’s Ad Net Zero report.

The Charter was developed by the Advertising Association’s Media Agency Climate Action Group that formed just after the announcement of the wider working group and consists of members from Mindshare, Mediacom, the7stars, Manning Gottlieb, Rapport and PHD Media.

The two specific media agency initiatives currently under development are a carbon calculator for media plans and a showcase of sustainable media owners:

  • The carbon calculator for media plans recognises again the role media agencies play in reducing carbon impact in the wider supply chain and shines a light on the gap in how clients measure their overall carbon footprint. For the most part, media investment is not currently part of their footprint calculation. This is perhaps because media spend contributes towards the building of the intangible, but extremely valuable, equity of a brand rather than the more tangible assets of a product or service. With the calculator, the industry will now be able to measure the overall carbon footprint of the campaigns that media agencies plan and buy for clients across all channels, and they will be able to start to reduce the climate impact of running clients’ campaigns.
  • The media owner sustainability showcase comes from a recognition that media agencies have a key influence on the supply chain through the selection of media partners, based on various factors including audience, content and increasingly the values of those media partners. The Charter recognises that the work media agencies do with their media owner partners represents a significant opportunity to align and jointly address the challenges we face regarding our climate, and aims to build a commitment to a solution for a more sustainable industry.

We very much believe that this Charter will act as a critical first step towards transitioning the media industry to a carbon-zero future, and that the collective power of multiple media agencies coming together will enable the industry to affect positive and sustained change more quickly and holistically.

Mark Howley, Interim Chair of the IPA Media Futures Group and COO Publicis Media

Says Chair of the Media Agency Climate Action Group, Mindshare’s Rob McFaul: "The Climate Charter demonstrates the high level of collaboration needed by the advertising industry to respond to the climate crisis. Manning Gottlieb, Mediacom, Mindshare, PHD Media, Rapport, and 7Stars have modelled a way of working that sits at the heart of the Charter. We have come together to transcend competition on the 'bigger than self' issue of the climate crisis for the benefit of everyone.

"The Charter sets out the initial foundations for media agencies to demonstrate their commitment to climate action and strives to prepare media agencies for a 1.5°C world. It is our ambition, as more agencies step into their responsibilities and join the Charter, that the industry will accelerate its transition to a zero-carbon future."

If you are a media agency interested in finding out more about signing up to the Charter, contact the IPA’s Director of Media Affairs Nigel Gwilliam.

Last updated 30 November 2020