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107 | Sustainability in media services

43 min listen

Are you applying a sustainable mindset to your media practices?

If not, the time to start is most definitely now. 

Abigail Borsberry, Head of Audience at Encore, joins us on The Tech Marketing Podcast to discuss how to do just that. 

Sustainability in marketing isn't just about the content created or having a circular business model. Marketers must now also think further to the 'scope 3' aspects to their work, like the adtech they're using. 

On this episode, we dig down into the details of  

  • Measuring emissions associated with marketing campaigns 
  • How to build a campaign that is more sustainable
  • Why you must start measuring your outputs asap.

Tune in now, wherever you get your podcasts:


View the full transcript here

Jon Busby: This is a really interesting one. This is actually one that I'm probably looking forward to out of all the ones, recordings we've had recently.

Abigale Borsberry: You're just saying that you're just being nice. No, this is, this is super,

Jon Busby: this is super important for us. Um, not just for us, but for our clients. Like I think, um, this is going to sound really, really strange, but like I was talking to a client just now, um, and I recently, you know, I flown on five different carriers this year.

It sounds like I'm a big deal, but they've all been in. Like economy, right. And the, the one that surprised me the most, and the one I remark on the most was actually Delta, which is an American carrier. So you'd think there'd be shit, but all of their food was in like mega sustainable packaging. Like none of it.

Normally it's like a plastic tray. It was made of the last flight. Exactly. It was like a plastic tray with a plastic lid on that. Normally they're all a bit shit. And this was like. Wooden knife and fork, bamboo thing, like everything there was built to be like compact. And so I think sustain, like I notice it now and I think it's a, it's important.

And you can

Harry Radcliffe: kind of make it the marketing as well, because sometimes I'll see like edible, uh, like beer can holders. I remember that, that was a big one. Edible ones. So, you know, like the six pack.

Jon Busby: Oh yeah. I don't think they're edible. In that case, I

Harry Radcliffe: might need to go to the doctors guys.

Abigale Borsberry: Are you talking about like just the plastic wrapping that they've got?

Yeah, yeah,

Jon Busby: yeah. Beer can, edible beer can.

Harry Radcliffe: Yeah. No, bro. I'm, I'm, I'm telling you saltwater brewery. Yeah,

Jon Busby: yeah, yeah. I found the same one. All right,

Harry Radcliffe: fine. You know, that is sustainability and marketing, but literally the sustainability is the marketing because everyone's like,

Jon Busby: Oh, isn't that sustainable? Yeah. But by making them edible, right?

This is okay. Right. This is, no, no, no, no, this is where we're going to land. Right. Making them edible. You're therefore making it okay to throw them in the sea. Right. You were like, Oh, right. Yeah. Cause it's edible. Like it's good for the turtles cause they want to eat this stuff. Yeah. That's, that's not the behavior you really want to create either.

Is it?

Abigale Borsberry: I don't think that's the route that we're going down either, but, um,

Harry Radcliffe: yeah, I don't think that that's, I think that's what

Jon Busby: you, I think that's what you think. All right, let's, let's, let's kick off. How are you kick us off? Cause, cause I'm just going to take us off on tangents. Cause it's, cause it's that time.

Harry Radcliffe: Ladies and gentlemen, John Busby's bumped his head today. He's a, he's a little bit off with us. He's basically, he's having some personality switches and he's looking to throw things in the sea. And today on the Tech Marketing Podcast, we're trying to persuade you not to do exactly that. We're trying to say how marketing should be sustainable.

And with us, we have Abigail Bosbury, who's the head of audience at Encore and Digital Media. Right. So the big stat that I've got up in front of me is that 77 percent of people say that in five years time, they only want to be spending money with brands that practice green and sustainable advertising.

Abigale Borsberry: Is that true? I think so. I think it's probably higher.

Harry Radcliffe: I believe that many people. Care, but only want to spend their money with brands that practice green and sustainable

Abigale Borsberry: advertising. Where did you get that

Jon Busby: stat from? It's from a Microsoft survey in 2022, actually, Abby. Straight from Bill

Abigale Borsberry: Gates's clutches.

So I would say if you work in the ad tech digital advertising space, then, and that, that was asked to you, then yes, your answer would be yes.

Jon Busby: Ad tech. Yeah. Digital advertising is all. Ones and zeros on a computer somewhere like there's no, you know, we're not making anything that's killing the turtles or, um, poison the ozone layer directly.

Like what does, what does green and sustainable advertising actually mean? Let's start

Abigale Borsberry: there. Okay. So I think you've made a really good point, first of all, by saying that I think sometimes it's not been tangible, uh, what effect your digital advertising campaign may have from a, you know, from a sustainability point of view.

So there are emissions associated. With your digital advertising campaigns, with your marketing campaigns. And I think that's something that has been neglected. I think brands have been much more familiar with understanding and like reporting on their scope, one and two emissions, uh, and openly publicizing their ESG strategies.

So that's been like something that's been a focus for brands and, you know, they've been aligning with customer and their user values. Um. You know, previously by adopting things like circular economy models. So like Amazon just recently, um, announced that they're going to, uh, end the use of recyclable packaging in Europe.

So I think they announced that this week. Um, so that's how they're like aligning with their values in that scope one and two emissions, but the scope three emissions, which is where your marketing campaign falls under, hasn't been a massive focus. for a lot of brands. So, um, and because they didn't realize, I don't think to the, and also understand how to measure and understand what that impact and output would have been.

Um, so I think initially as well, a lot of brands, um, when it comes to sustainability have probably been focusing more on their. Creative messaging content as well. So I think that's where a lot of the focus has been rather than, um, you know, what your, what your emissions output would be from your marketing campaign.

And I think, you know, when it comes to, you know, I'm covering lots of things now and I'm about to go down on a tangent, but you know, when it comes to your content and messaging, you know, there's been a huge rise in greenwashing. And that's been a massive issue. You know, the UK have recently, um, uh, well, I say recently it was earlier this year.

I think it was in February or March, um, but out some new regulation around, uh, you know, how to tackle and how to curb greenwashing. It's like a massive focus in our government as well. So that there's so many challenges. I think a lot of people don't even know where to start. With

Jon Busby: this, you know, I was, my question was, was from a position of, uh, you know, I understand that those ones and zeros have a consequence, but I think it's important and definitely the scopes aren't something I've actually heard of before where you've got that scope one, scope two, scope three.

So marketing, marketing and advertising spend falls in scope three.

Abigale Borsberry: Is that correct? Yes. The emissions are like, yeah. So that means it's falling to your scope three. So it's a scope one is your challenge. You're challenging me now here, but this is the emissions that basically are like. They're direct greenhouse emissions, uh, from companies owned controlled sources.

Yeah. Scope three will be indirect, uh, emissions, which is like purchased for or acquired energy. But

Jon Busby: in scope two is like your energy usage and the direct one is like direct indirect. And the other one is like good.

Abigale Borsberry: And then scope three will be, uh, what occur in your value chain. Got it. Got

Jon Busby: it. That makes sense.

But I think it's important to be thinking about like, you know, because there is the reason why this is always so close to my heart. And this is going to be a little bit of a tangent, but bear with me, Abby, like the, uh, university back when I was doing chemistry at university long, long time ago now.

Probably we didn't have the periodic table back then, but the, I remember having a, uh, sitting in a particular lecture that completely changed my view on sustainability, um, and completely changed my view on, on how this, how this works. Cause it was, let me give you an example. Like if we go to a very simplistic space of, um, is it better to, to reuse or.

Um, dispose and you'd always say it's always better to reuse. But if I use an example of a China cup, right? That China cup has had to be, the clays had to be evacuated from the, removed from the ground. The, uh, it's had to be molded by someone. It's had to be fired. It's had to be transported. It's then had to, then it gets to, it has to be washed every time it gets used.

And most pollution out there is actually. Um, if you're a chemist, while a paper cup is much, you know, it comes from a sustainable source, which is trees, it's much lighter, it doesn't require as much energy to produce, um, and, and doesn't require as much energy transport and then doesn't require any detergent.

Now, I'm not saying a china cup is worse than a paper cup in this case, but it is like knowing that entire life cycle. I think we just, people, people just don't realize like there can be so much, um. Miss so many misconceptions, I think, over what really goes into a product that you've got to dive down into those, into those layers of your value chain to understand.

Abigale Borsberry: Um, yeah, I totally agree. I think that's the key point. I think when it comes to your marketing campaigns and that's, you know, like what we're focusing on, it's like, you know, there's so many elements that go into that. So you've got, you know, from concept, the creative build. So that's all the production that goes into that.

That's. The photoshoots, the filming you're doing, then it goes into the creation part of that, then it goes into the activation stage, which is, you know, what channels you're running on, you know, multiple formats, multiple channels, then you've got your reporting. So all the data calls, everything that's coming, like there is, there is so many elements.

So in every point of that. You are creating, you're needing to do data calls, creating electricity calls, so that there's always going to be an output of emissions through all of that, that chain. And I think in reality, like it's, it's actually, you know, quite overwhelming to even start to contemplate. How do we, how do we measure this from concept to, you know, to what we've produced out in our marketing campaign.

But, you know, I think the key is that we have to start. Because there is an emissions associated with, with, you know, digital marketing. And it's like, we do need to start looking at this. We need to start understanding that supply chain and where the emissions are created, because once we get to that point, once we understand that, and this is one of what I'm really talking about here is measurement.

Okay. Um, once we've got to that point, then you can then start your journey of how do we reduce? How, how can we run a more sustainable campaign, but it all starts with measurement because we have no idea what we're doing otherwise.

Jon Busby: I mean, one question I just want to ask, like, what, what is the, if you were to break down that value chain, and I wasn't even thinking about the initial creation of the idea.

I think you're exactly right. That's, that's, that's our clay coming up the ground, right? It needs to come from somewhere. Um, the problem is unfortunately, creative directors don't grow on trees and therefore they're not a very sustainable energy source, but the, um, the, um, it's true, uh, the. What, what's the worst part?

What's the most offending part of a media campaign? Like, is there, is there one element that's like, this is

Abigale Borsberry: actually, I think we're still learning, John. I'll be really honest with you because every campaign is different, right? Every, everything has its nuance. You could have a campaign that has had to fly 25 people out to Las Vegas to do a film, you know, film on it.

You know, it, you know, or you could be running big digital out of home campaigns or every, every stage is different, every nuance, you know, there are obviously. Things that have a higher, you know, output. Um, but I think, and this is the point it's like, we're asking that question. It's like, what should we be doing?

You know, how do we, how do we run a more sustainable media campaign? I mean, the problem is, is that there isn't a one size fits all answer to that. I think it goes back to the core of like having a. Good understanding of what, what that is and what the associated carbon output is with each part of that supply chain, each part of that supply.

Once you understand that, then you can start making those decisions. Um, so, I mean, at the minute there are some, some great. Businesses out there that are helping the, you know, because none of us are experts in calculating emissions here. You know, we're, we're marketing experts. We might be programmatic experts.

We might be, you know, podcast hosts, you know, but we're not, we're not sustainability, we're not, we're not an expert. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, but that's just something we try, but there are some businesses out there that are trying to help particularly like the ad industry on this journey. But again, you know, they, two years ago, we were talking about carbon measurement calculators now.

The language is changing and they're going to be carbon measurement estimations, because they realize these calculations, you know, they are based on estimates. Uh, and this is, and this is the tricky situation we're in at the minute. Um, but there are some great businesses. There's ad green that help from a production side.

There's, um, people like scope three impact plus good loop. They're all helping in that digital measurement, uh, arena. Um, and you know, at the minute in the UK. We don't have, um, like a, a unified or a global, let's say, uh, methodology, uh, that everyone, like a framework that everyone's working to. Um, but that is on its way.

Uh, and that, and that, and that's what we need because I think to get like a, a, a true. Measurement or a true estimated measurement that everyone's working to that's, you know, that's, that's the point we need to get to. So there's some markets, I would say as well, like, um, in France, they're, they're slightly more advanced.

They're definitely adopting, I think, a more unified approach to their measurement. Uh, and, and. I think, um, that will follow over into the UK as well. Uh, and I think eventually the goal would be is to have a unified way of measuring the carbon output of your, you know, your, your advertising campaigns. Once we've got that unified measurement, then you can start really deploying true reduction goals that you

Jon Busby: need to follow.

Mm-Hmm mm-Hmm. . No, it, ma it makes like, and let me ask, this is a bit of a tangent, this one, but is there, is it just carbon that becomes the main calculation? Yes. Or is it ev Okay. So it's just carbon that we're talking about? Yeah. Yeah. Is there, you know, are there,

Harry Radcliffe: there's some loopholes, John spying .

Jon Busby: Yeah.

I'm just wondering what No, I'm, no, I'm just, I'm, so when

Abigale Borsberry: we talk about ESG, so I guess, look, this, it's such a big thing, right? Yeah. So when, when people just say the word sustainability. sustainable. So I mean, that's such a huge thing. And when we talk about ESG, so we're talking about, you know, uh, environment, social governance, you know, and I think there's some people that focus on certain areas.

So you've got some brands that will massively be focusing on the S the social, you know, the social side of things. Uh, and I think, you know, it's, it's really dependent on. I just think there's a lot of things to cover here. So like, I think we could probably do about 18 different podcasts on this, you know?

So I think it's about what, you know, what can we do as marketers and people working in the advertising space? What, what bit can we control and contribute to? And, you know, that is, uh, the output of your, your, you know, running more sustainable media campaigns. So basically, so how do you do that? So then that's starting to go back to, it's like, right, you need to start understanding what is, what are you outputting?

What is the output of your, your campaign? Yeah, I

Jon Busby: think what you're saying is it's a journey, right? And we have to keep, we just have to, you know, right now we're just measuring carbon. Like personal preference for me, I think it has to go wider than that. I think carbon is, Overreported as one, as one particular metric.

And there are, um, uh, you know, other things that we should also be exploring. If let's look at paper usage, if we're talking about media, but I do, I do agree that this is a journey and we have to be progressing along that. So as you say, they've turned from calculations to estimations, like that's a recognition that this is.

This is going to be a maturity that we have to move through, which I think we can all get behind. Um, let's, let's talk about some of the different media channels then, like, how do you go about building something, as from the estimations we've had so far, like, how do you go about building something that is more sustainable?

Like, what are some of the considerations that go into building that? Yeah,

Abigale Borsberry: I guess, like, again, like, keep coming back to the measurement piece, but like, um, you know, there are going to be certain channels that will have an, uh, and we're still focusing on carbon output here. Cause that's what we're dealing with in, in today's measurement.

Uh, but it's, um, you know, there are going to be some channels and formats that naturally will have a higher output. So I think, you know, what And obviously you've got the, uh, uh, clients, you know, KPIs and performance you're considering in this, you know, we're trying to do this dual approach of where we're trying to still meet the needs of what our clients are requesting, but, but in a more sustainable way.

Um, so when it comes to like channel selections, media mixes, I think what's a really important thing is that you have to have some data to work with. So, you know, every campaign's got, it's going to have its nuances. So it depends what country you're running the campaign on, you know, what type of format you're running, you know, say you're running a video campaign.

Have you got a 30 second video? Have you got 15 second video? You know, there's all these different elements that go into it. So it's not going to be really simple that you just have this lovely playbook where it's like, Run this campaign in this way, and you're going to have like the most sustainable campaign.

I think you're going to have to again, go on a bit of a journey and take learnings from, from your campaign. So, I mean, for me, the key, the key things I would want to stress today is that if you're not measuring the output of your campaigns now, you need that, that needs to start like today, because without that, you're going to be making decisions.

Not based on data driven decisions, they're going to just be assumptions based on other people's campaigns, other people's experiences, where, as we all know, every campaign is, is nuanced to that brand. So I think it's like, start now with your measurement. That's, that's the key focus. And then you'll start learning about how to build out those, you know, that ultimate media plan, that ultimate mix for what you need and what's going to work for you.

Harry Radcliffe: Is there an issue that. We, we spoke at the beginning about consumers not wanting to do, to, to buy products from non sustainably marketed sources, is there an issue that the consumer has no idea how sustainable the marketing source is unless it's about that it's sustainable, like if I get. Emails or whatever method that I receive, I really have no idea which ones are the good ones, which ones are the bad ones.

Abigale Borsberry: Yeah, that's a, that's a great point. I mean, but I think it's like, well, who whose responsibility it goes down to? Like, you know, I think what, what we're trying to get to the crux of here is that digital marketing has. A huge impact, a lot of huge carbon impact. It really does. And I think that's why there's been a massive focus on that, John.

I think that's why it's come back to carbon measurement and digital advertising as well. And it's something that we have the ability to reduce. So regardless of like what you receive as a consumer, I think, you know, like you, you know, the, like the stat you, you know, quoted at the beginning of this. It's like, I think consumers, the world's changing, consumers are changing, expectations are changing.

So. You know, trusting brands. So as I went with, as I was saying earlier, you know, like brands are very out and proud and talking about their scope one and two emissions and, you know, their long term ESG strategy. So people I think are trusting in that. And then because they're not, perhaps not connecting the dots to the marketing campaign, it's like there wouldn't be any, they don't have the same expectations when it comes to the marketing campaign, but you know, you shouldn't be as a consumer, the one trying to decipher which type of.

You know, medium you're gonna, or media you're going to engage with, you know, I think it's the brand and, you know, the marketing agencies responsibility to be like, what, how can we still get the same message, the same engagement to you, but in a more sustainable way. Do

Jon Busby: you think, I mean, actually Harry on that point, I'm thinking on the same question.

Do you think consumers are going to start wanting to interact with ads that they know are more sustainable? Today you can make the decision between picking up a recycled newspaper, I guess, versus a non recycled newspaper. But let's assume that newspapers disappear and we're just talking about digital advertising here.

Like, is, is there a point where you may, you. We could see as long as it's not the plastic, you

Harry Radcliffe: know, the paper straw of advertising, it has to, it has to be better. I think

Jon Busby: now, now we're going to get, now we're getting to debate about paper straws, but Abby, can you see, can you see consumers want to be more educated about this themselves?


Abigale Borsberry: yeah, yeah. Look, listen, I think that as an industry, we're on a learning curve at the minute. So we're, I feel like a lot of brands and, you know, people within the industry are only just realizing what the impact is. So I don't expect consumers to understand that yet. So I think, I think. It starts with us.

It starts with us to understand what the output is, what the impact is, how we can, and if we can reduce and what we, where we can't, what, what our plan is. Do we offset? Do we, you know, what is it? What, what, like once we understand that, then I think the education piece changes from us to the consumer. Uh, and then I think, yes, like that, I mean, then the journey changes, right.

You know?

Jon Busby: Yep. Yeah, I just think that would be, that's going to be a really interesting part of this journey, but I'm jumping too far ahead. Let's talk, let's come back to of course doing our own sustainable media practices. Do you think this is going to be a competitive advantage for those agencies and media companies that get ahead of this?

Abigale Borsberry: Um, so I, I, I would be worried if people weren't already like doing this, talking about this. Uh, so is it, is it a competitive advantage? I think it will become, uh, if you're not, then you're out of the game. So it's like, it's not an option. I think a lot, like when we were, when we've spoken about, um, compliance and consent in the past and the previous podcast, it's like, it needs to become part of your infrastructure.

It's like, it's, it's, you know, there's no choice.

Jon Busby: And obviously this is going to be quite a direct question. Like, what are we seeing from our own clients? Like, are we, how often is this coming up in pitches and conversations?

Abigale Borsberry: It's a, it's a really, it's a really, it's a real mix actually, uh, John, you know, I think there's, there's lots of brands that we work with again, that are.

Probably leaders when it comes to sustainability, like their sustainability, uh, reductions and, you know, their, their, their strategies. Uh, but when it perhaps comes to their, uh, marketing campaigns are less so, um, so I think it's, it's being, I've seen it being a bit of an education piece. Cause I think it's like.

Letting our brands that we're working with know that we now have the, you know, the abilities to, to assist them in this, so to help them measure, to help them to understand. Um, so there's, there's some, there's some brands that are out there that will only work with agencies, uh, that can help them on their, their, or that, you know, their, their strategies that are already deployed.

There's some agencies that are already measuring the carbon output of their campaigns. Uh, there's, sorry, there's some brands that are already measuring the, uh, the. The output of their marketing campaigns, they're already trying to align themselves with, uh, you know, I would say like, I don't know, green partnerships are like working with, um, sort of there's a, there's a business out there called, um, the good net.

So they will work with, uh, publishers that have like, uh, you know, uh, more sustainable focus content, but also have the sites that don't produce as much carbon output. So there's, there's lots of things out there, but. To answer your question. It's a mix. We've, we've got some brands that have a clear strategy and want to partner with agencies and creative agencies that can help them on that journey and understand their message.

And then we've got other brands out there that haven't even begun that measurement.

Jon Busby: Do you think it's reduced because of the year that we've been through? We've been through a really difficult year where there's been a lot of, you know, flux. Um, do you, do you reckon that have you seen any brands pulling back from their ESG credentials and just focus on.

Core numbers, you know, go, Oh, well, you know, we cared about that when things were good.

Abigale Borsberry: Not openly. So I, and I don't think we have a choice. We've got, you know, most of the brands that I'm working with that have clear like ESG strategy set out and reduction goals. I mean, you know, they're, they're driving towards that.

They don't have, we don't have a choice. You know, we have to, we have to all commit to this, you know, and, you know, I think I would agree. I would

Jon Busby: like it's, you know, my, my son now picks me up on being an earth warrior. Like I think we have, we have to, yeah, I would agree with that.

Abigale Borsberry: Yeah. And when you go back to say like, what are some of our brands?

I have not come across a brand that has not wanted or was not interested in this conversation. So, so when I say it's been a mixed bag, it's not like there's some people that are just not interested. It's just that they're perhaps earlier on in their journey than other brands. So, uh, but, you know, I think everybody understands the importance of this.

I just think it can be a bit daunting for some people because not knowing where to start. And like we were talking about the, the, the, when you start looking at that supply chain and you know, you start, where do we begin? Do we begin with the creative side? Do we begin with the activation point? You know, it's a lot, it's a lot to deal with.


Jon Busby: for a CMO that has. Hasn't already adopted an environmental approach to their media strategy. How much of a pivot, how much of a change is it to implement this? And is there a risk of greenwashing? But how do you avoid that risk of being seen to be greenwashing? Yeah,

Abigale Borsberry: absolutely. So that's the education piece, right?

So I think that's the piece of like, just. Understand what greenwashing is, then understand what products, you know, what you're, what you're actually, what you do as a business, I think that's leaning into, if you do have like an ESG lead as well to understand what you've done through your scope one and two emissions, like what you've done through that journey.

Uh, but I think for a CMO to avoid greenwashing is I understand what that is. Okay. And, and I mean, truly understand what that is. Yeah. Uh, and then. From like, you know, how, how can we start, you know, running more sustainable media campaigns? Like, of course, it's a long term strategy, right? Of course, there's going to be lots of things that you do have to change and like bring into the mix.

But like, there are things you can just instantly do as well. So like I said, you know, if you're working with a, you know, a creative agency, if you're working with a media agency, it's like. Talk to your vendors, talk to those guys. How, what are they doing already? You know, are they measuring from other people have those conversations now?

Because it could be as simple as that. We don't know what to do with the data yet. We want to understand what our marketing campaign output might be. Can we start measuring? Can you do that with us? So start measuring your, the output of your campaigns. Once you've got that data, you know, it's like you can then start making those.

like data driven decisions, but without that, I mean, for me, it all starts with measurement, right? Uh, and I think, you know, that's an easy first step.

Jon Busby: Is there any, is there anyone you, you, you know, we've talked and you've mentioned that measurement is so key. Is there anyone that's setting KPIs against this yet?

Abigale Borsberry: Uh, not with, uh, not, not with us, but that, that will be cut. Cause the way I see this is, this will become. Uh, uh, like a secondary KPI, a bit like we've had, um, you know, hygiene factors in the past with regards to like viewability and, you know, things like that, I think your output will be the same, but I think for now, I still feel that we are, and particularly in the UK at the beginning of like.

We need to start measuring. That's what we need to do. We need everybody measuring. And once you've got that point, uh, then you can start hitting your, you know, you can start doing your hard kind of benchmarks reduction goals. Yeah. But I haven't seen any hard KPIs yet. I, you know, I

Jon Busby: was just thinking as we were going through it, like the KPIs would probably be.

Just reducing your, um, you know, reaching net zero if we're talking about carbon emissions. But it does make me think, is there, is there going to be a good hearts law problem here of, you know, what measures it starts, it stops becoming a good measure when it becomes a target. Um, you know, so, so it is, it is a real, it's a real minefield to make sure that we're balancing everything together because it's never going to become a primary target.

It's still going to be the performance of your campaign. So we're moving towards kind of a social enterprise double bottom line type figure where you need to either have it as a hygiene factor, like you've said, or potentially it might be around hitting a certain carbon figure. Yeah, we have a CPL one for the cost and one for the carbon.

Abigale Borsberry: Yeah, absolutely. But again, until you know what your standard. Campaigns output. How can you even make that decision? You know, yeah, yeah, yeah. But that's, I think that's going to be really interesting. Okay. So to see how brands start adopting that and how, you know, we start making decisions based on that.

But we have

Jon Busby: got a second stat here, which is 88 percent of Microsoft participants said they would have more trust in brands, which have green cadents credentials verified independently. So. You know, it's a good point actually, right? This is a, I'm going to be really cynical here. I'm going to put my tinfoil hat on.

I've got over here somewhere. Here we go. I've got a very brightly colored hat. I'm gonna put this on for a second. Oh, no. And the, you know, it's a big carbon monitoring offsetting. It's a huge industry and. There's a lot of, you know, let's be really honest. There's a lot of money to be made in it. Um, just from, you know, just from, from measuring and offsetting it.

So who's there to act as the police who's there to act as the, um, uh, the auditor when it comes to how much, you know, how much this stuff. Really costs in carbon. Um, you know, what, who are the industry standards, Abby?

Abigale Borsberry: That's a really interesting question. And I like from my, my, I don't know who's regulating that from my point of view.

I don't know who's out there regulating these people of like, where, cause you get, you, a lot of people use credits, you get the credits that you have to use. Um, it's, it's a really. I like, for me, it's a, it's a, something that I'm trying to get my head around, to be honest, at the minute, because I mean, my approach, uh, you know, since I've been on the journey at Encore with, you know, trying to see how we can run more sustainable media campaigns has very much been focused on measurement and reduction rather than the offsetting element.

I'll have to be honest with you because for me, I'm like, I just want to truly reduce where we can. Um, so like the offsetting has kind of been like a, like a, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,

Harry Radcliffe: yeah. I get annoyed that they lump in with the ESG, I think that environmental and social should be two different things entirely, uh, two different measurements, isn't that environmental social

Abigale Borsberry: governments?

Yeah, ESG, yeah. Yeah,

Harry Radcliffe: yeah, yeah, yeah. But then the, the, the S in that require, like, is that one score

Abigale Borsberry: you're given? So that would be separate. So like, we'll, we'll, so like, we'll be talking about like the E, like the environment.

Harry Radcliffe: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But do you get an ESG score that

Jon Busby: combines? I think, Harry, what you're saying Sorry to jump in there.

Oh, sorry. No, no, no, no, no. It, it, I mean, this is a massive tangent. So everyone strap in, right? This, we're going to go, we're going, we're going skiing. We're going off the side of the mountain with this one. Like, if you, if you look at ESG credentials Often when we look at media campaign, what we've been talking about up to now, Abby is, is the, is the carbon impact of a campaign, right?

Which is fine, but let's use an election marketing campaign as an example. And the impact that could have on society or on social elements. Like, so if you decided like, you know what, we're going to start promoting something about, you know, smoking to kids, right? Bad example, but let's just, let's go with it.

Let's go vaping. It's slightly more realistic and believable, right? That's essentially where. The S bit comes in, which I'm guessing it's just, it's, it's not really been up for debate so far, but it does sound like it's something that needs to be included at some point in the future. And how do you, do you even score that?

Like what? It's so subjective. I'm not even sure we can even talk about it. It's just, I don't, where do we start? Yeah, I don't know.

Abigale Borsberry: Going back to the beginning, like this is such a huge topic, right? There is so many elements, like it's, it's, you know, and, and I, I'm, you know, where, where we sit in the market on color, I'm very much focused on activation and that's why the measurement piece is really important to us.

And like, I want to deal with data so I can understand what I'm doing. And, you know, that's what, but like, you know, if we, we go down to that social aspect aspect and we can go back to like how you're presenting your content and, you know, creative and what impact that's going to have and what messages you're putting out there into.

There's just so, there's so many things. It's like,

Jon Busby: I'm not sure we're ready to have that debate yet, but

Abigale Borsberry: I'm not strapped in, I'm not strapped in for

Jon Busby: that. Yeah. The, um, but let's come back to the industry standard. So is there, is there like a, um, you know, I'm trying to think of an example. You know, you, you see the little recycling symbols on, on your milk bottles.

Abigale Borsberry: There's loads, there's a lot, there's so many, so it depends where you sit in the market, what industry you're in, you know, there's lots of different ways. There's, you know, I think the key to a lot of these things is being public with what you're doing. And that's what it's all about. The transparency, like what you're working on, what you're measuring yourselves, and I think that's where a lot of these starts.

So actually we've just done a piece of work with, um, the IB UK. So they have put together, um, a sustainability FAQ for their members. And basically they've got. Um, all their members will do, we start, they have a sustainability working group. So that I think that's, there's about 20 brands. So there was publishers, um, agencies, ad tech, you know, that, that, that's a mixed, mixed, uh, a real mixed group, but basically they've got the members of that sustainability working group to fill out this FAQ and they made it public on their website.

So it talks about what you're measuring, what initiatives you're doing in your business. But it's meant to be basically to give that transparency and, and it's, it's. It's also there to kind of innovate for other businesses as well to see what everybody else is doing so we can all kind of learn from each other.

I think that's something like that's a really, really nice approach. I think because there's so many people that be at different levels, it's kind of, and as I said, it's really overwhelming, but that gives that transparency to be like, this is what we're doing. This is what we're working on. These are our goals.

Jon Busby: And so let's, let's bring it kind of back to us for a moment. Cause this is our podcast. So we're allowed to do that. The, um, like what are we doing? What is Together and Encore doing that helps? Like, what have we actually, what journey have we been on?

Abigale Borsberry: Yeah. So on the, on the Encore side, uh, we, um, so obviously, um, we're part of Next15.

Uh, they're, they're our holding group. Um, and I mean, the work that they've been doing is amazing. I have to say, John, like, you know, they've been on such a huge journey, uh, and really getting all of the agencies evolved, uh, and, and kind of like on, on plan, what, what, what the strategies are and what we're going to be doing as a, as a, as a, as a business.

But from an on call perspective, as I said earlier, like where we sit in the market, we're, you know, we're focused on the activation piece. So for us. You know, we've been getting our heads around that measurement piece. So first of all, we, we were like, how on, how on earth do we start measuring, uh, our, you know, our campaigns, where do we start?

So a lot of that was going out into the market, seeing what everybody else was doing, meeting vendors, uh, and then starting to understand like, what are the optimization pieces in that? What can we actually do to help reduce? So, you know, is it. just based on creative way, or is it about what sites we're running on?

So really getting our head around that piece, uh, and then adopting it into the business. So, you know, um, you know, we started with some test campaigns behind the scenes, just started measuring, seeing what it looked like and then learning from that and then out with our brands, talking about it, finding some brands to partner with us to start their measurement journey.

And we're now on our, I think it's our fifth, fifth campaign that we've measured.

Jon Busby: Do we, do we report that back to clients, like on a dashboard to say, this is, what does it look like? So,

Abigale Borsberry: so for us, you know, it depends what part you're working because again, so the, the partners out there at the minute, they have slightly different methodologies.

So there's some that will do it. Based on impressions. So they might track, track the impression, uh, but obviously there's a weight associated with putting more tagging into the impression. There's some that would do it based on the, the, the media spend. Um, so they've got different methodologies, but essentially they do look at the same things.

They'll look at like what, what country it's running in. Uh, they'll look at the creative size. They'll look at the channel that's running across. So they'll, they'll have similar methodologies, but, um, but what the reporting looks like. Uh, Some, some vendors have dashboards. Uh, so for now, what we're doing is we're ingesting that data ourselves because obviously as well, it needs like further analysis and explanation because it's a new, it's a new conversation you're having with clients, you know?

So it's, uh, it's, it's very much like we were taking that and then trying to give it some more context for them as well. What would you, what would

Jon Busby: you say is like the proudest for you? Well, our fifth campaign that we've measured now, fifth large campaign. The movement is, is there like a particular decision where you're like, I'm proud that we made that decision for sustainability reasons?

Abigale Borsberry: Yeah, I think it was the first, it was the first, it was the first one we'd have officially run with it, with a client. And I was just like, they were a hundred percent on board. They, they were, you know, it was the first time they had done it. And that was, I think, just measuring a campaign from start to finish and actually seeing what that output was.

That, that was the first one for me, the first campaign. I was, I was really, really proud of that to be able to do that.

Jon Busby: That's awesome. And, but we, is there any decisions we've made off the back of it now to steer towards certain vendors or.

Abigale Borsberry: Do you know what it's given us the opportunity? Cause we've had to ask the questions of ourselves, right?

So it's actually giving us the knowledge of like how we should be, you know, talking to our vendors, asking the right questions, having that thought process at the beginning, when we're running campaigns, is that going to be the right decision where we're at the early stages? You know, there, there's going to be some business out there that, you know.

Uh, far more evolved and there's going to be business that haven't even started this. So like, for me, I think it's just going to be a continual learning curve, but I, you know, I think we just need to be open to, to the learnings we're receiving and, and, and, and, you know, really ingest them and try and try and, you know, bring out, bring out brands that we work and we belong on that journey.

Jon Busby: What we're coming back to again and again is all around this measurement piece.

And it sounds like, you know, that's based on the different providers out there. And it's still very much a debate about how granular it goes. It's, you mentioned habits become more of an estimation now with this, um, Lack of agreement between, um, different, you know, between different ad companies and platforms over the end to end environmental impact of a digital ad campaign.

Can we be sure we're making a difference?

Abigale Borsberry: Yeah. I mean, a hundred percent. I think we can definitely be sure we're making a difference. And I think like when it comes to like the methodologies and the vendors use, what once there will be a unified standard. That comes into play for measuring the carbon output of your digital cameras.

They will 100 percent there's industry bodies that are doing great work out there at the minute, trying to build these frameworks. Uh, and, and I mean, I sat on a working group, the IAB Europe. Uh, hosted a couple of weeks ago. I have to say it was well over my head. Most of the, most of the conversations being had, but it was so interesting.

It's just like all of the due diligence, all the work that's going into it, because they're trying to build a framework that we can utilize and stick to, but it will evolve as well, the more we develop. And I think the vendors and the, you know, the, the measurement. Vendors out there at the minute, they all will pivot to, to that framework when it's there.

So I think it's not about, and you know, it's not about waiting till that happens. You just need to start now. You need to start somewhere and you start your journey now. Um, and then knowing that like, like with anything, like with technology, it always evolves, it develops and we will as an industry go with that.

Jon Busby: Yep. So let's bring it back to our fictional CMO. Um, and, and the world that they're going through today, like what could they be seeing this? Can we flip this for a moment rather than seeing this as a double bottom line? Could this even be a revenue opportunity?

Abigale Borsberry: I mean, I think it will be, if, if they're not, it's going to be a revenue loss.

You know, I know that it's not what you're going for there,

Jon Busby: but No, no, no. I think you're right. I agree.

Abigale Borsberry: I don't know how I feel about like, you know,

Jon Busby: Using green stuff to drive. Yeah,

Abigale Borsberry: I completely agree. I'll be honest, like, you know, and I just think, you know, we should all, we all will need to do this. And if you're not, you know, you, you won't be here in five years time, you know, as a business, because we don't have a choice, you know, as a choice, we, we have, our industry has an impact.

We have to take responsibility for that impact. Um, and we need to, we need to drive the change. Uh, and. Uh, you know, take action and, and, uh, I think yes, there will be businesses that are in, that's the world we live in at the minute and there will be businesses profiting off that. Um, but I don't think I would take that approach.

I think it's, uh, it's more. If you don't do

Jon Busby: this, it's a, it's a, it's an opportunity cost. No, but in the long run. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the question I actually had here, this is the talking point I had, and I'm going to see if this is, this is phrased better than what I just put, but should CMOs actually be seeing this as an opportunity to drive revenue?

Based on this shift in consumer behavior. So, yeah, I think we've answered that, but it's, it's exactly, it's essentially the same thing. Like we shouldn't be looking at this as a, as a revenue generator, but we should be looking at it as a hygiene factor for future generations, um, really shouldn't we,

Abigale Borsberry: so, yeah, absolutely.

And I, and I, and I think, you know. We've spoken and we've, we've focused massively, like from on a measurement side of things. And as I said, that's because of where Encore sit in that activation piece. But I think looking at it from, from the whole supplier. So looking at it from the creative, the content, the messaging, the everything you're doing, it just needs to become core to your marketing strategy.

Jon Busby: Yeah, yeah, and yeah, and I, I completely, I think that the biggest risk for any CMO now is, is the procrastinating just as the same, just as what we talk about with AI really, actually, um, you know, if you don't start putting a plan in for this, you could be replaced in five years time because people care about brands that, that are, checkmark on an ad to be like, this is sustainably delivered?

I think it could happen. I'd love that. I'd love that. I think it could hap Yeah, I think it could happen. You know, I think a little like green thing in the corner to be like, tick, this is, this has been vetted or something. Maybe we should do that. We should own it. Let's go and do that now. Let build it.


Abigale Borsberry: don't, don't put little rhino on your corner. Yeah. Scrub that from the podcast. Let's go and start that business, John, and get that, that sustainable tick of uh, why.

Jon Busby: No one done that yet. Let's do it. Let's let's surely someone has, let's have a look. Hang on sustainable, uh, add check mark. What would you call it?

Check mark. Let's have a look. Uh, Oh no, there is a, there's the Google one, the green check, Google guaranteed badge. What's that mean? That probably just means you can use Google. Uh, no, that's just not, that's nothing to do with that at all. Um, but the, yeah, I think, I think, I think there's something in that.

I think there's maybe a little, like a little leaf. I mean, that's probably overused. We could, we could have the Rhino Harry. Like no rhinos were shot in the making this ad. Um, so you know, something along those lines, like, you know, there could, there could be some interesting, interesting routes

Abigale Borsberry: there. John, you were saying like what, what was together doing as well.

And I think like you guys are in a really privileged position because you have some amazing clients. On your roster, uh, who are doing amazing things in the tech space. And I think it's, um, now about, and I know you guys are having these conversations. I know you're actively, when you know, you're, you're meeting with your brands or your pitch and it's like, it's, you know, it's opening that door and being the, being the, like the partner to go on that journey.

Cause these are all journeys. We talked about journeys all the way through this podcast, but these are new journeys that are going to need navigating and you're going to have to support each other on that. And I think, you know, um, but. But helping brands aren't quite ready as well to take that leap because I think like we're saying when, when it's, it's such a complex thing that people I think can hesitate and it's like, don't, don't wait, just like, let's go on it together.

Let's just start and we'll work it out. We've all got to work it out as we go, you know? So yeah,

Jon Busby: I completely agree. Thank you, Abby, for joining us on another wonderful. Podcast. It's been a pleasure to have you on as always. Um, hopefully we've all made sense this evening.

Abigale Borsberry: I'm not sure it was chaotic and it

Jon Busby: was, it was awesome.

I think this is a truly a subject that we're all really passionate about, which is, which is building, making more sustainable advertising. I think right now we are just at the early part of that maturity, which is just making people aware there is a cost. To delivering an ad, especially even more important.

Now we're talking about AI and personalized content. So, um, Abby, thank you very much for joining us today. It's been a real pleasure having you on. Thank

Abigale Borsberry: you so much. Cheers guys.

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