When you think about police work in the city of New York, you’re likely to think about officers patrolling the streets – not the billboards above it. The fact is,
Once upon a time, newspaper circulars and static-filled messages broadcast over store speaker systems represented the cutting edge of shopper marketing. You had to think and decide for yourself what to buy and where to buy it. Those days are long gone.
Today shopper marketing happens in real time, across multiple marketing channels, and it’s…
As mentioned, at BAA I gave a presentation on how disruption is permeating advertising, media, and marketing today. Today I will share with you the second installment of this three-part series…
One of the biggest issues facing advertisers, marketers and agencies today is the concept of “Trust.” Not “Trust” in the context that advertising lawyers…
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Davis & Gilbert produced our 2014 Lessons Learned/2015 Practical Advice, where our lawyers highlight major developments in the marketing communications industry, and offer tips and best practices for marketers and their agencies in 2015. To view the full 2014 Lessons Learned/2015 Practical Advice document, click here. This…
To understand b.good, the healthy sandwich and salad shop that has taken the northeast by storm, we’re going to need to hop into the DeLorean, and go back to 1987 – when the founders met. b.good’s co-founders, Jon Olinto and Anthony Ackil, met in the sixth grade, and formed a fast friendship. After countless shared…
For my final post, I turn to StrawberryFrog – a New York City Advertising Agency – to get their thoughts. Drum roll, please…
CEOs have been a philanthropic force since before they were called CEOs. As part of his prolific giving, John D. Rockefeller founded medical research centers and schools of public health. Andrew Mellon supported the arts and higher education. Henry Ford, history preservation. In the economic surge that followed WWII, distribution of personal wealth was supplemented with a new focus on corporate giving, as major banks, manufacturers, and other companies established corporate giving programs and foundations. But even in these instances, where the money went was largely driven by the personal interests of the CEO.
But today, businesses are increasingly aligning their corporate giving with their strategic business goals. In the process, they’re finding that both their giving and their businesses are more effective.
They’re being helped by organizations like CECP. Founded in 1999 by actor and philanthropist Paul Newman and other leaders in business, CECP brings together CEOs and other corporate executives to share ideas and resources to effectively address societal challenges while driving business performance. CECP’s mission is to create a better world through business. It is a collation of CEOs who believe that societal progress is an essential measure of business performance. CECP conducts research that allows businesses to make data-driven decisions about their community engagement strategies. The companies of CECP’s one hundred and fifty affiliated CEOs accounted for $14 billion in corporate giving in 2012.
The Way I See It
- I see an ever-growing confluence between brand and corporate values. Far from being a fad, Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming a strategic pillar for many companies.
- I see not just philanthropy but civic engagement, in general, being used as a recruiting, retention, and professional development tool as more companies offer employees paid time off for volunteer work and other engagement-related perks to keep employees rewarded and energized.
- I see an increasing use of data in decision-making about philanthropy. Just as online mobile application tools like Charity Navigator are helping people make choices in personal giving, businesses are using data to measure the effectiveness of their philanthropy.
The Way the Industry Sees It
I sat down with Daryl Brewster, CEO of CECP, to discuss current trends in corporate societal investment and civic engagement.
CECP puts a lot of emphasis on its “convening power,” bringing CEOs and senior executives together to share ideas and resources. What’s the current conversation about? What ideas have them most excited?
We at CECP are very fortunate to host several remarkable conferences. Our annual CEO Board of Boards Roundtable in late February was just named one of the top three Power Player conferences by Forbes magazine. Our CECP Summit annually attracts some two hundred and fifty people from one hundred and fifty leading companies to New York each spring. And our new roundtable series – by region, industry or issue – continues to grow. Each interaction yields new insights, but the topics that companies are most excited about are:
What’s working and not working in the field?
How do we collaborate with other companies/organizations on critical challenges?
How do we communicate our societal efforts both internally and externally?
How do we measure efforts and results?
How does CECP differentiate between traditional philanthropy and civic or social engagement, and how are businesses exploiting that difference to be more profitable and be better corporate citizens?
Since its founding fifteen years ago by Paul Newman and several leading CEOs, CECP has believed that world’s leading companies can – and should – be a force for good in society. And in doing so, companies can not only help address societal challenges, but also strengthen employee engagement, brand reputation, insights into new products and services, and entry into new markets, while mitigating risk and building trust. CECP CEOs and companies are deploying a myriad of innovative strategies, from IBM’s “Smarter Cities” program to Mosaic’s “Global Villages” efforts (both CECP Excellence Award winners). CEOs are taking the lead. They are integrating efforts with corporate strategy, innovating in new ways, collaborating with other companies and organizations, and measuring their results.
What’s your sense of the public perception of corporate giving and civic engagement? Is it viewed as sincere or cynical, and how do those views change across age and other demographic divides?
It depends on the initiative and each company’s overall approach, but generally we have found that the public not only wants companies to give back, but is increasingly demanding it. Nielsen, the research company, recently published a global study that found that forty-three percent of United States shoppers (and forty-four percent around the world) say they are willing to “pay a premium for brands that they believe care” about the world. Companies must be authentic and transparent in their initiatives, because if they are, people will find out and any of the good will be for naught.
The FCC has changed its rules to require “prior express written consent” in order to auto-send commercial calls or texts. Failure to comply can open violators up to private lawsuits, and to damages awards of up to $1,500 per violation. So what should be done to avoid pricey violations?
First, there needs to be written …
Consumer protection in our digital age is becoming an ever more complex challenge, with technology constantly evolving and always “newer” new media emerging at lightning speeds. In recent years, online behavioral advertising has taken center stage as one of today’s most hotly-debated marketing practices. There seems to be a consensus amongst regulators that the industry, through self-regulation, should take on the challenge of establishing a transparent opt-out program for addressing privacy concerns and allowing consumers to choose not to have their data collected for future targeted ads. However, the water gets more murky when it comes to online and mobile advertising to children. Advertising to children is laden with issues and I’ve talked here on Madison Ave Insights about how the FTC and other regulators have taken a particular interest in children’s privacy and data security.
This year’s Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) Annual Conference will discuss a number of critical issues in children’s advertising, including apps, social media, and location and other data security. With more children online (even at school) in today’s age, how do we as advertisers ensure we are keeping kids safe?
The Way I See It
- I see more challenges arising with new digital, mobile, and social media to address privacy and data security concerns through self-regulation, especially when it comes to children. With new technologies emerging, the advertising industry is forced to adopt new standards to meet the issues for regulators and consumers.
- A lot of progress has been made in recent years to address privacy and data security challenges raised by new technology and social media, including the CBBB’s self-regulatory guidelines that implemented the Ad Choices program to allow consumers to opt out of targeted online advertising.
- I see an increasing commitment from the advertising industry to self-regulate when it comes to children’s issues, as well as new online and mobile platforms, which is a strong signal that the industry will meet calls from regulators to enforce privacy and data issues.
The Way The Industry Sees It
I sat down with Genie Barton, Vice President and Director, Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program and Mobile Marketing Initiatives at the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), to discuss the effectiveness and challenges of online behavioral advertising (OBA), especially for children.
Online behavioral advertising (OBA) has been under the microscope in recent years with regulators and consumers. How have you worked to address these issues and what do you expect to improve with OBA moving forward?
Regulators and privacy advocacy groups have varying degrees of concern about the collection and use of data to provide consumers with advertising that is based on their previous browsing activities across websites and time. In addition, some consumers also have concerns, but there is a high degree of debate regarding consumer preferences. Some studies show significant concern, while others show that in real life scenarios, consumers prefer ads that are relevant over ads that are random. But what I think we can all agree on is that the two largest areas of concern for regulators, privacy advocates and consumers stem from the largely “invisible” nature of online interest-based advertising. The industry responded to those concerns, as expressed by the Federal Trade Commission in a staff report providing guidance on how to implement self-regulatory principles governing OBA, by creating consensus principles that provide the transparency and control that were missing. I like to say that the DAA Principles took the mystery and potential “creepiness” out of interest-based advertising by providing real-time notice and a direct link to an easy-to-use opt-out. These innovations—the sideways blue triangle known as the AdChoices Option Icon, which appears in all interest-based ads, and takes the consumer to an explanation of OBA and a link to a choice mechanism—shine a light for consumers on interest-based ads.
How do you navigate the complexity of and constant changes in online and mobile advertising? Any tips for advertisers?
I navigate this ecosystem with a lot of help from my friends and fabulous staff, and by constant reading and discussions with people in the industry. Just when I think I have a handle on something, there is another innovation. But that is what makes the job fun and keeps it fresh. I would advise advertisers to make privacy a positive differentiator for their brand. To do this successfully, the advertiser has to be extremely careful with what companies it engages to guide it on developing an ad campaign. Be sure to deal with an agency and all others in the ecosystem that follow (and ensure that you will be following) the highest industry standards. While an OBA campaign can be the most effective way of reaching the right customer, doing it without the transparency and control provided by the DAA program can actually damage the brand and its relationship with its customers. A recent study showed that consumers prefer to do business with companies that engage with their customers on privacy issues. The study also showed that consumers click on ads with the icon more readily than on ads without it. So providing consumers with transparency and choice is a positive for the bottom line.