Cannes Lions: Mars Announces The Lion’s Share Fund for Animal Welfare

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Mars and UNDP and BBDO and Sir David Attenborough announce The Lion's Share fund at Cannes Lions 2018

Mars and the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) announced The Lion’s Share fund at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Thursday, a landmark partnership that will address the planet’s conservation crisis and aligns with Mars Global’s purpose-driven and sustainability goals.

Mars and UNDP announce The Lion's Share fund at Cannes Lions 2018Images of animals appear in about 20% of all ads, yet 90% of the most popular animals featured in ads are either endangered or threatened. So in announcing The Lion’s Share fund at the aptly-named Cannes Lions with partners BBDO and Finch, Mars is calling for other marketers and the creative community at large to join it in pledging to commit to animal welfare as part of every campaign that features an animal. (The partnership was announced on the same day that Koko the gorilla, whose sign language and communication abilities advanced our understanding of—and connection to—animals, died in at age 46.)

“Wildlife and their habitats are in crisis right now. We’re losing species at an unprecedented rate, estimated to be 1,000 times the natural extinction rate,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “The Lion’s Share is an idea that is as innovative as it is simple, and which will make a real impact on the future of animals, their habitats and our planet.”

Mars Global Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Andrew Clarke says the fund is a powerful way for business to leave a lasting legacy: “The Lion’s Share is exactly the sort of ambitious initiative we need to take in order to ensure we foster a healthy planet on which everyone – including animals – can thrive. For Mars, it’s another step in living the commitments of our Sustainable in a Generation plan.”

“We’re passionate about wildlife conservation and maintaining the biodiversity absolutely necessary for our planet. And animals need our help closer to home, too. We urge other companies and brands to join us in The Lion’s Share to help build a movement to tackle these critical issues,” he added.

How it works: Partners commit to contributing 0.5% of their media spend to the fund for each advertisement they use featuring an animal. Those funds will be used to support animals and their habitats around the world. The Fund seeks to raise $100 million a year within three years – money the UNDP will disperse to help wildlife, conservation and animals in the greatest need.

More from the announcement in Cannes today:

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