Ad industry reprioritises rapid climate action with Ad Net Zero USA launch

ANA, 4A’s and IAB lead the charge with more than 50 organizations in founding group of advertising’s climate action initiative

By Creative Salon

In a bid to reproritise and commit to rapid climate action within advertising, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) and IAB have launched Ad Net Zero USA. Joined by more than 50 organizations operating in the market - which represents 40% of the world’s ad spend - the climate action initiative seeks to drive sustainable change in the world’s largest adspend market.

The USA chapter will be led by John Osborn, who was appointed Ad Net Zero USA Director in October 2022. Ad Net Zero USA’s mission is for immediate, collective industry action to decarbonise ad operations and increase the promotion of sustainable products, services, and behaviours.

“The time is now to unify the advertising industry to solve one of the toughest challenges facing our industry and the world," said John Osborn, director at Ad Net Zero USA. "The advertising industry has proven time and again the power of collective creative thinking and innovation which are essential in reducing carbon emissions across the entire advertising ecosystem.”

The new US based group will have representation from many of Ad Net Zero’s global members, including Cannes Lions, dentsu, Google, Havas, IAA, Interpublic Group, Meta, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, PubMatic, Reckitt, Unilever, WARC and WPP.

Ad Net Zero USA founding membership, alongside new organizations, is inclusive of all agency brands represented by existing global partners. It includes but is not limited to: Adlook, Assembly, Audacy, BBDO, Cannes Lions, Cedara, DDB, dentsu, Duration Media, FCB, FleishmanHillard, Good-Loop, Google, Group M, Havas, Hogarth, IAA, Interpublic Group, IPG Mediabrands, Ketchum, McCann, MediaMath, Meta, MobileFuse, MullenLowe, Ogilvy, Omnicom, OpenX, Publicis Groupe, PubMatic, Quantcast, Reckitt, Scope3, SeenThis, Sharethrough, TBWA, Unilever, Viant, Vox Media, Volta, VMLY&R, WARC, WPP and Wunderman Thompson - with transnational efforts across the US and UK for multi-national progress.

“IAB is very proud to play its part as a supporting member in the launch of Ad Net Zero USA," said David Cohen, Chief Executive Officer at IAB. "IAB, together with the IAB Tech Lab, is committed to driving technological progress forward and harnessing innovation to deliver more sustainable solutions."

The focus for the USA chapter will be widespread education to encourage action across the advertising eco-system, including a continued recruitment drive for more organizations to join the USA chapter. One of its first commitments is to deliver a US-market specific version of the Ad Net Zero Training, an online training course which is designed to help all advertising and marketing services professionals understand the actions they can take to help tackle climate change. Members will also engage in working groups focused on tools and practices that drive carbon reduction related to one of Ad Net Zero’s the five point action plan, including working groups focused on production and media. The Ad Net Zero USA team are planning workshops for supporter organizations on areas including ad production (via AdGreen), event production (via events specialists, isla) as well as introductory sessions to Ad Net Zero.

“The unification of efforts to reduce and measure carbon emissions is a top priority for our industry," added Bob Liodice, Chief Executive Officer at ANA. "By working with Ad Net Zero, the ANA hopes to accelerate progress among brands, media partners, and agencies toward a net zero future. The role of brands in this work is critical, as we share a responsibility together with our partners to be the driving force behind these efforts.”

Ad Net Zero USA Director John Osborn, former CEO of BBDO New York and OMD USA, will introduce the new chapter of the net zero action plan together with David Cohen CEO of IAB, Bob Liodice CEO of the ANA, Marla Kapolowitz, President and CEO of the 4A’s and Simon Cook, CEO of Cannes Lions at an event at the WARC offices in New York.

“In an ever-changing ecosystem with the need to constantly adapt and evolve, the 4A's is proud to support the U.S. launch and chapter of Ad Net Zero," said Marla Kaplowitz, President and Chief Executive Officer at the 4A's. "The climate crisis requires businesses to take greater responsibility and more importantly, actions, through collaborating to address immediate critical needs. The only way we can truly deliver the change required is for the entire industry to work together to align on common goals, definitions and metrics to transform our future.”

“The US launch is very timely," added Simon Cook, Chief Executive Officer at Cannes Lions. "This year, Cannes Lions will introduce a sustainability criteria across the award entry system. This global set of information will help us create an annual benchmark for how the industry is making progress on embedding sustainability into our industry’s work. The U.S. market represents 40% of the world’s ad spend which is why the launch of Ad Net Zero USA is so important as we continue to make progress in tackling the climate emergency.”

Any organization wishing to become a supporter of Ad Net Zero USA should contact the Ad Net Zero team or John Osborn.


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