In August 2019, the Business Roundtable, comprised of CEO’s across leading organizations, redefined the purpose of an organization. It was a pivotal moment, as the world’s foremost leaders moved beyond shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism – accounting for both profit and social purpose in order to generate long-term value for consumers and to ensure future financial success. Michael Roth, Chairman & CEO of IPG, as well as a member of the business roundtable, has prioritized purpose and the need for a “double bottom line.” These ideals permeate across IPG’s marketing services portfolio – and given the current climate – resonate more deeply than ever before.
In response to COVID-19, Matterkind & Acxiom donated media and audience segments, while McCann launched the #IStayHomeFor campaign in an effort to spread awareness and ultimately, save lives.
In light of the senseless death of George Floyd and far too many other members of the Black community, many companies have stood up and spoken out against racism and social injustice. From Nike’s ad spot encouraging people to sustain the movement, to the formation of The Ally Internship program to provide the Black community with more job opportunities, companies are navigating how to best address this deeply rooted, complex issue.
But words are not enough. As Michael Roth stated in his recent letter to IPG Employees, “What has become clear – and appropriately so – is that when it comes to combatting racial injustice, people are looking for actions, not statements of support.” In order to truly operate with purpose and affect real change, we must turn our words into action. Color of Change recently launched a site that hosts campaigns and petitions encouraging corporations to go beyond the statement to support the Black community.
The sentiment is clear: our future leaders will only want to engage with or work for
companies that truly care, not ones that are just looking to check-the-box.
Although progress takes time, IPG and its agencies took immediate action; from curating a group of inventory that enables advertisers to specifically support the BIPOC ad ecosystem to designing merchandise in support of Black artists and organizations. Through these efforts, among many others, IPG is operating with purpose and making a positive impact. There is a lot more work to be done, but these actions demonstrate incremental and forward progress which can be sustained for the long term and lead to real change.