At Cannes, The Lion's Share Fund issues audacious challenge to give your #LionForLions

  • Over the past decade, 1 in 4 Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners have featured animals - yet animals do not always receive the support that they deserve. To draw attention to this inequity, the Lion’s Share Fund asks award winners at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to dedicate their Cannes Lion for the future of all Lions by using the hashtag #LionforLions
  • The Lion’s Share urges businesses and brands at this year’s Festival to join The Lion’s Share Fund and to contribute a percentage of their media spend to conservation and animal welfare projects
  •  In 2018, the advertising industry spent $118 billion on campaigns featuring animals, yet animals are being wiped out in their natural habitats at an alarming rate

CANNES (June 17, 2019) – The Lion’s Share Fund, a unique initiative which raises much-needed funds to support wildlife conservation and animal welfare across the globe, is taking the fight to preserve the future of biodiversity and wildlife online. At Cannes, the Fund is making an audacious ask to individuals, creative teams and brands to pledge their support by dedicating their Cannes Lion using the hashtag #LionforLions.

This push comes as the Fund revealed that 1 in 4 (25 per cent) of Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners in the past decade have featured animals in their advertising campaigns. However, despite their ubiquity in advertising, animals do not always receive the support that they deserve. In fact, it’s the opposite – nine out of the top 10 most popular animals used in ads are either endangered or on the threatened list even as they continue to deliver profits and glory for many brands. This disparity and how to close the gap will be in full focus this week, when UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Connie Britton joins the Fund and partners in a fireside chat on Thursday, June 20 at the Nielsen Yacht located next to the Palais des Festivals. A cocktail reception will follow.

Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support at UNDP, said: “With one million species threatened with extinction, the world is facing an ecological crisis.  Loss of wildlife is a serious warning sign for human well-being, as the natural world provides us everything from air and water, to food, medicine and shelter.  We need urgent action.  The Lion’s Share Fund is a simple way for businesses and the marketing industry to play their part, in ensuring animals receive the credit and support they deserve, and for the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Lion’s Share Fund, initially announced at the Cannes Lions Festival in 2018, is a unique initiative led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and a coalition of businesses including founder FINCH, founding partner Mars, Incorporated, Clemenger BBDO and Nielsen, which raises much needed funds for wildlife conservation by asking advertisers to contribute 0.5 per cent of their media spend every time animal imagery is used in an advertisement. It aims to raise over $100 million per year within the next three years. 

Nick Garrett, CEO of Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, said: “Over $118 billion worth of media was spent on campaigns featuring animals in the past year alone. Yet, while animals in ads are delivering profits for brands, they’re being wiped out in their natural habitats at an unprecedented rate. It’s an unbalanced equation. Our goal is to use this year’s Cannes Lions Festival as a platform to unite even more of the advertising and marketing community to join the Fund, using our creativity in a way that can help address some of the world’s largest environmental challenges.”

Jane Wakely, Lead Chief Marketing Officer for Mars said “Purpose is a hot theme at Cannes, but it’s the examples of how purpose-driven programming delivers real impact that break through. The Lion’s Share is an innovative and bold illustration of what is possible if we combine our creative and media muscle as an industry to help prevent the extinction of so many iconic species. Our mission is the conservation of hope and, quite simply, we are calling on brands, media and creative agencies to join us and help build this movement. Let’s transform the way we support animals and their habitats today to make a lasting impact on biodiversity and animal conservation tomorrow.”

In the first six years, The Lion’s Share Fund aims to contribute significantly to saving the world’s last 4,000 wild tigers, reducing the illegal trade of birds, fish, reptiles and other exotic pets, combating the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn and securing 1 million hectares of terrestrial and marine wilderness including critical corridors for big cat species, elephants and rhinos. Since its launch, the Fund has welcomed seven major organizations and engaged more than 50 brands. New members of The Lion’s Share include JCDecaux, The Economist Group, and partner Humane Society International.  

To learn more about The Lion’s Share event at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity , please contact [email protected] 

Christina Pascual, UNDP,  [email protected]  
Kimberly West, Mars, Incorporated, [email protected]