Frequently Asked Questions

The Lion’s Share: Core Q&A

What is Lion’s Share?

The Lion’s Share initiative is a unique way of raising much-needed funds to help animals everywhere by asking companies to contribute a small percentage of media spend from advertisements featuring animals to conservation and animal welfare projects.

How will it work?

For those that sign up to the Lions Share , each time an animal appears in advertising, the company responsible will make a contribution of 0.5 percent of the ad’s media spend to The Lion’s Share, which will in turn ensure that those funds are invested in initiatives and programs that benefit animal welfare, conservation and their environments worldwide.

How much do you expect to raise?

The Lion’s Share aims to raise $100 million a year within three years. While this may seem like an ambitious target, if the top 10 advertisers alone were to commit to The Lion’s Share then that would bring in $47m alone each year.

Why hasn’t this been done before?

As far as we are aware, nothing like The Lion’s Share has ever been attempted before. But with habitats – and even species of animals – disappearing at an unprecedented rate, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners have seen the need to step up and devise a unique and innovative way of helping.

How will the money benefit animals?

The fund will use the money raised and invest it in a series of creative and game-changing solutions, focusing on achieving real impact for animals and habitats. The Fund, which will be hosted by UNDP, is seeking to raise $100m a year within three years, with the money being invested in a range of wildlife conservation and animal welfare programs to be implemented by United Nations and Civil Society Organizations. The Fund has a joint steering committee that will take decisions on priority programs.

How can you be sure the money will go where it needs to?

The Lion’s Share will draw on the experience and know-how of UNDP, which has the world’s largest portfolio of environmental programs, to distribute funds. The UNDP’s established mechanisms for this distribution are transparent and accountable, ensuring funds will reach the animals which need it. UNDP has been named the most transparent aid organization in the world for two years running.

Will contributing companies be monitored and audited in their work with The Lion’s Share?

Yes. Global measurement and data analytics company Nielsen will monitor the amount participating companies spend on qualifying advertising to ensure that companies are contributing correctly.

How much of the money raised will go to animals? How much is overhead?

At least 93 percent of the money raised will go to the animals that need it, which is high compared to most charity disbursements around the world. Additionally, The Lion’s Share will be working to lower overheads as much as possible, wherever possible.

Is Lion’s Share just to benefit endangered animals in the wild, or will it also benefit domestic animals, animal shelters, etc?

The fund will not only focus on tackling wildlife conservation but also on animal welfare projects.

What do companies have to do to join?

Companies must commit to contributing 0.5 percent of their advertising media spend to The Lion’s Share for their advertisements that feature an animal or animals.

0.5 percent of media spend is a tiny amount—why not go further?

0.5 percent of media spend might be small for individual advertisers, but collectively it could generate a very significant amount of funding if enough advertisers sign up. Through that contribution, The Lion’s Share aims to raise $100 million a year within three years.

Do companies need to conform to particular ethical standards for treating animals and the environment to qualify?

The role of The Lion’s Share is not to police the way animals are used in advertising, because there are already laws in place that mandate ethical and humane treatment of animals in advertising. Obviously, companies that partner with The Lion’s Share will be expected to abide by all such laws and regulations.

Additionally, companies will be asked to sign on to the UN Global Compact 10 Universal Principles, which cover sustainability, labor rights, corruption and human rights.

When I see an animal in an ad, how much is going to animals?

When you see an animal in an ad from a participating company, you will know that 0.5 percent of the cost of media spend for the ad is being contributed to The Lion’s Share – and to supporting animals and animal welfare around the world.

Will money from the sale of the actual products advertised go to animals?

The Lion’s Share is focused on the use of animals in advertisements for products, not the products itself. But if an animal is being used on the packaging of the product and that packaging is shown in an ad, then a portion of the money spent on the ad will go to The Lion’s Share.

How much will each company contribute?

Sharing information on contributions would be potentially commercially sensitive. All organizations, whether their advertising spend is big or small, are welcome to join the Lion’s Share and each voluntary contribution will make a huge difference in transforming the lives of animals. The ask of every company is to consider contributing 0.5 percent of their media invested in advertising that features animals.

I bought the product advertised and there’s no Lion’s Share logo on the packaging? Why not?

The Lion’s Share is focused on the use of animals in advertisements for products, not the products itself. But brands will have the option of using the logo on packaging to act as a “certificate” of their participation in The Lion’s Share

Will cartoon animals count as part of Lion’s Share?

Yes! Cartoon animals used in ads will attract the same contribution as real animals, assuming the advertiser signs up to the Lion’s Share fund.

Who are the founding partners in The Lion’s Share?

The founders are UNDP and FINCH, with Mars as founding partner, and other partners advertising network BBDO and leading analytics company Nielsen.

What is the UN’s role in Lion’s Share?

The United Nations Development Programme has the world’s largest portfolio of environmental development programmes. This brings with it many years of experience distributing funds and managing development programmes in an efficient, transparent and accountable way. UNDP will host the initiative’s Secretariat, which will manage the overall operations of the fund.

What is BBDO’s role?

BBDO is one of the world’s largest advertising networks, and the first to join The Lion’s Share. It will be contributing the benefit of decades of experience in the advertising industry, as well as encouraging other advertising agencies to become part of The Lion’s Share.

What is Mars’s role?

Mars is the founding partner of The Lion’s Share and will sit on the executive and steering committees of The Lion’s Share. Mars will not be the only company involved in the initiative, with many other companies expected to join over time.

What is Nielsen’s role?

Nielsen is a leading global measurement and data analytics company, and it will monitor the amount participating companies spend on qualifying advertising to ensure that companies are contributing correctly.

What is FINCH’s role?

FINCH is a production company made up of film-makers, artists, and engineers and based in Australia.FINCH conceived the idea of The Lion’s Share.

What other companies are involved? What other companies will be involved?

While Mars is the founding partner, The Lion’s Share will welcome companies that feature animals in their advertising and welcome brands of all sizes and media budgets.

Can I donate to Lion’s Share as a member of the public?

Not at the moment, but in the future we are looking at ways to accept donations from the public.

Your advocates—including Sir David Attenborough—are they being paid for this?

No.

What happens if none of the other big advertisers sign up? Will you scrap the fund?

We have every confidence that big advertisers will join Mars in being part of The Lion’s Share.