In this age of Corporate Social Responsibility where companies spend a lot of time trying to promote their social conscience, you come across a lot of crap. There are a lot of organisations who make a big deal out of the things they “donate” money to (to get a tax break) in order to present themselves as a “green” brand, or a business with more than profit on their minds. In some cases, this is to offset their negative reputation for child labor in some small developing country, in other cases it’s to make them look more attractive to the Generation Y graduates, whom we are all told care about the moral standing of their employer.
I’m skeptical about how authentic the dedication to the cause is in most cases, however recently my employer have launched a campaign that actually makes me want to stick my chest out and maybe just shout a little bit about it.
In June, Havas Worldwide (the parent company of my company‘s parent company) joined forces with Kofi Annan and Bob Geldof to launch “Tck Tck Tck: Time for Climate Justice” – an open-source campaign to galvanise the public and world leaders ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December. The response has been phenomenal – more than one million people have already pledged their support, and last week Gordon Brown and the UK government endorsed the campaign and called on British business to lend their backing.
I think this is very cool… especially because it’s got a real grass-roots element to it. The “open-source” aspect of the campaign means that people have to actually get into this, not because Havas are putting money behind it, but because they believe in it as individuals and want to involve their friends and their personal network… or in essence, because people would like to attach this cause to their “personal brand.”
As you can see, I’m one of those people.
This quote, from David Jones, our Global CEO is part of the reason why:
“Our industry excels at changing people’s behaviour. I believe that we have not only an opportunity, but an obligation to use our creativity to address some of the biggest issues facing the world like climate justice.
“To get a meaningful deal at Copenhagen requires everyone to put pressure on their leaders to agree a fair and binding post-Kyoto deal. This is precisely the aim of the ‘tck tck tck: Time for Climate Justice’ campaign, and the advertising and marketing communities have a crucial role to play.”
But it’s not just about the big names involved, we’ve actually put our agency’s resource behind this. You may (if you’ve ever seen my blog before) recall a post I did a while back about our purchase of a record label “The:Hours” and how I thought that it was a cool move for an agency that is focussed on creative business ideas to have the resources of musicians and other creative types at its disposal. Well, The:Hours have even made a song that is dedicated to the cause. The song can be downloaded from the tck tck tck: Time for Climate Justice website and can even be “bought” for free on iTunes.
Note to Havas/Euro: We should make the video downloadable too, if it’s not already… it’s very cool too.
Check it out… it’s for a good cause… and I think well worth shouting about.