Animals have been used to sell products and services since the invention of advertising. But do the creatures in question benefit from this multi-billion dollar industry? Currently, no, but Sir David Attenborough wants to rectify that through a new “game-changing” initiative.
This week, Attenborough helped launch a new project that is hoping to encourage large corporations to donate just 0.5 percent of their budget for any campaign that features animals to wildlife and conservation charities. Spearheaded by the United Nations Development Programme, the fund is to be called The Lion’s Share, and hopes to help wildlife benefit from being used to sell.
“Animals are in 20 percent of all advertisements we see,” explained Sir David Attenborough, who is now the Lion’s Share Special Ambassador. “Yet, they do not always receive the support they deserve. Until now.”
“The Lion’s Share shows that by making a small difference today, we have an opportunity to make an unprecedented difference tomorrow.”
The project estimates that if just the top 10 advertisers in the world took up the offer to donate to the scheme, it would generate an impressive $47 million (£35 million) for the UN-backed wildlife charities. The aim for Lion’s Share is to for the initiate to be raising $100 million a year from advertisers.
This might seem like an ambitious idea, but the fund already has the likes of Mars on board. In fact, the American candy manufacturer was one of the founding partners along with the UNDP and FINCH.
“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,” said Andrew Clarke, the chief marketing and customer officer at Mars.
“We’re passionate about wildlife conservation and maintaining the biodiversity absolutely necessary for our planet. And animals need our help closer to home, too,” Clarke continues. “We urge other companies and brands to join us in The Lion’s Share to help build a movement to tackle these critical issues.”
The campaign is part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, which looks not only end poverty but also protect the planet as an integral part of this objective. Supporting conservation charities in their role of protecting wildlife and the marine environment is a key outcome in helping to create a better world for everyone, and projects such as the Lion’s Share fund could become integral to this.