‘Big six’ ad industry holding groups unite to push UN sustainability goals

The six major global advertising holding groups have signed up together to help promote the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as part of a new industry-wide initiative called Common Ground.

Big six:

Big six: bosses of the six big groups commit to working together for UN

Dentsu, Havas, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis and WPP have all signed up for the initiative, which will begin with an ad campaign running in free space donated by media businesses.

The idea was started by a conversation on stage between WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell and former US Deputy President Al Gore at Cannes last year, and was sealed yesterday in a session featuring the six bosses, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.



Each of the groups will be given a specific area of the development goals to focus on over the coming years, with scope to work collaboratively when they can, and engage other industries as well.

They are also chipping in to a fund to bring the winning ideas from the Cannes Young Lions competition, this year focused on the SDGs, to life.

In a statement Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the companies are “setting a powerful example for others to follow.”

A joint statement from Tadashi Ishii, CEO of Dentsu; Yannick Bolloré, CEO of Havas; Michael Roth, CEO of IPG; John Wren, CEO of Omnicom; Maurice Lévy, CEO of Publicis Groupe; and Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, said: “The Common Ground initiative recognises that the global issues the UN has identified transcend commercial rivalry.

“By working in partnership to support the Sustainable Development Goals, we want to demonstrate that even fierce competitors can set aside their differences in order to serve a wider common interest. We hope others in and beyond our own business decide to do the same.”


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