With the rise of consumer expectations for environmental stewardship and social responsibility, combined with the worldwide long-term shift towards conscious consumption, agencies and their clients must embrace new criteria to prosper.
They honor the importance of a corporate conscience. Companies that ignore public sentiment make themselves vulnerable to attack and will be punished in the marketplace. Consumers demand a new level of transparency where a company’s actions are as important as what they say in their marketing; and nothing kills a brand faster than saying one thing in your advertising, and doing another.
They adhere to global labor standards and practices. They support Global Fair Trade agreements and undertake a responsibility to support a fair and honest marketplace.
They tread lightly on the planet. They strive to reduce their ecological footprint and deliver a product or service whereby no human being or animal is harmed by the manufacture of their goods or service.
They run counter to the global consolidation trend. This isn't anti-globalization, it's anti-consolidation—anything that limits consumer choice. In the first decade of the US auto industry there were 346 different car companies. Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet were all independent before they merged to form General Motors. And now we're down to three, which is really no choice at all.
They espouse sustainability for future generations. They're moving toward sustainability in their business models and preserving our planet's non-renewable resources for those unborn.
150 years ago American Calvinists said, "business is about making money, and life is about doing good, and the two are not mutually exclusive.” Indeed, it seems there's nothing new except that which has been forgotten.