WHAT HAS BECOME OF THE ADVERTISING INDUSTRY?
Ours was a profession that you could be proud to work in (relatively speaking). There used to be a sense of balance, of fair play, and fair pay. For years we’ve watched it deteriorate. The heart has been ripped out of it by accountants and bean-counters both in agencies and on the client side.
Within client organisations, a focus on cost and not value is driven by procurement departments. Businesses pitch frequently, often just to wring yet lower costs from their existing agencies, who then abuse their staff to meet ludicrous deadlines, who then in turn cannot properly service their existing clients. Brand teams often confuse the numbers of ‘likes’ and other metrics with real sustainable brand equity and choose ‘safe’ creative, afraid to back the big bold ideas. Powerful brands rarely just appear, they need love and attention to grow, they need to stand for something other than price and functionality to really connect with people.
Within agencies many then care little for the long term welfare of such clients, or of growing the skills and careers of staff. For their staff it’s a matter of survival, working nights and weekends in an industry where eroded margins have forced agencies to have a focus on short term quick solutions, profitability and margin. To meet shareholder greed has become the norm. The modern agency owner, especially the big multinationals only seem to care about making a fast buck for themselves. And nothing else.
THEY CARE LITTLE FOR HOW BRANDS AFFECT THE LIVES AND WELFARE OF PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES.
They develop work whose affects lead to life dissatisfaction, low self-esteem and addictions. They work for big tobacco and labour-exploiting industries. They use lobbying and PR to shield businesses with little regard for humanity or fair trading. They care little about how the brands they promote affect the environment of this planet. They care little for their supply chain and its effect in the developing world, where most of what we consume is manufactured. Here it hits hardest, with bad pay and conditions, life expectancy, malnutrition, education, social injustice and the worst ravages of climate change.
THINK ABOUT IT.
If agencies promote products, do they really care about their ethical stance or about their human social impact? Do they check if banks fund deforestation for palm oil plantations? If children work in sweat shops for tech companies, if parts for a toy release chemicals into a river? If that advertising fashion shoot paints an unattainable ideal body? They don’t dare ask. They dare not rock the boat. Ethics are swept under the carpet for want of a fast buck. Now the world is interconnected and it’s all our own backyard, our own community.
An ethical heart and soul shouldn’t just be a consideration, something that you pay lip service to. It should be at the very heart of how we evolve as an industry. It should be at the heart of our client’s business too as a human, ethical mission will attract the growing number of people who vote with their wallet, who want to feel good with their purchasing decisions and choice of meaningful brands. Its where future shareholder value will come from. It’s time marketing, advertising & PR can use its powers of persuasion, innovation and behaviour change to put people and the planet alongside profit. That’s why we started The UP Agency.
IT’S TIME ADVERTISING HAD A SOUL.
We believe adverting can play a huge role in how the planet moves forward, by asking the right questions, by embracing the right ideas for positive change.
We love to work with brands, services and causes with a genuine heart and soul, who want to make a difference, and make the world a better, more positive place. We also love to work with brands that know that’s where they need to go, and need help to get there.
BUSINESSES AND THEIR AGENCIES NEED TO PUT UPLIFTING BEHAVIOURS AT THE HEART OF WHAT THEY DO AND HOW THEY ACT, REQUIRING…
Vision. This is an energy and ethos that is gaining traction.
Authenticity. People can sense when an organisation and people are being true and passionate for their values.
Honesty. To assess truly where we really are now and what our impact is.
Transparency. To do business fairly with an open book, unafraid of scrutiny.
Bravery. To change, to evolve with new learning, to turn down ideas, work and clients that don’t fit with the vision of a better world. To pick the game-changing concept that can move mountains.
Commitment. Together with partners clients and customers, causes and concerns for the long journey. Supporting big ideas with the budgets needed to be widely seen and acted upon.
Action. The earlier we start, the more impact we have. The standard bearers for change get first mover advantage.
We call this caring, positive focus ‘Uplifting Creativity’ ©
WE’RE LOOKING TO GIVE THE VERY BEST THINKING TO THE VERY BEST CLIENTS, ONES THAT SELL….
Furniture and food from natural ingredients and sustainable sources.
Sneakers or phones manufactured by adults earning a decent wage in safe conditions.
Technology that works well, well beyond its warranty.
Insurers that payout legitimate claims and banks that support small businesses.
Cars that run on electricity – and one day soon, solar.
Basically, businesses that you’d like to buy from. Ones that make you feel warm inside. Ones you’d love to work for, because they share your values, because they are and do good.
ALL WELL AND GOOD. BUT WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME, THE CLIENT? YOU ASK.
We’re used to working on award winning big ideas that connect with people on an emotional as well as rational level. Ideas that get talked about, with real impact. As the saying goes – you never get fired for choosing IBM. Proven expertise and bigger thinking pays its way on the bottom line. See our award winning experience here
We’re building a decentralized global team, employing world class staff, often in developing countries, resulting in significant cost savings whilst ensuring a skillful presence on your doorstep. You can think of it like ‘Fair Trade’ – a stamp of quality and ethically sourced, supporting your CSR.
We only employ experienced, passionate and professional staff, ambitious to make a difference and who get a spring in their step from working on things that make a difference, for clients who care and with others who share their values.
We pay our staff a proper wage and share of profits, and we ensure they’re not overstretched. You get focused, creative, well balanced people able to make a difference.
GETTING UP & GETTING GOING…
Appointing an advertising communications agency is a decision that goes beyond, relationships, creative work, strategy, or finance. It should be an ethical decision too. Signing with UP, is a sign that you believe in corporate evolution through ethical business. A sign of your company’s commitment, a badge of honour. From this comes bigger and better business and a feeling of contentment, knowing you are doing the right thing on every level.
Its a sign that you’re doing your bit – in the same way you might buy Fair Trade coffee, or put your spare change in the charity box. It’s a bold statement of intent. So, in doing this, it’s nice to know that while you’re doing the absolute utmost to further your company interests, you’re also making a difference in a wider ethical context. You’re not in bed with an agency doing business with those who want to reverse action on climate change, or who would sell their soul to the devil just to make a fast buck.
SO, ADVERTISING CAN FIND ITS HEART & SOUL…
In working with ethical advertising, marketing, ideas & innovation agencies like UP you are championing good things, better business. Why compromise, make your agency appointment a holistic choice.
Surely, profit should be achieved as a result of ethics. Not in spite of them.
It can be done. Together with our clients, friends and staff, UP are already proving it.