Mattias Ronge and Stefan Ronge, CCO’s Edelman EMEA.
How did you manage to quantify the data to support the campaign “The Cost of Inequality” with which you were the winner in the last Luum Awards 2022?
We worked with Dr. Lucile Peytavin from the Association for Gender and Statistics to produce a 25 page report on the financial impact on the French economy due to gender inequality across 3 key pillars – workplace inequality, health discrimination and domestic violence. The report combined data produced by official bodies (INSEE, Interstat etc), studies produced by research organizations (INSERM, HAS), administrative reports and work by individual researchers and journalists. It included both individual and collective costs and continues to be a reference point for policy makers and the media.
Did you receive the expected results with this campaign?
Yes, we really started an important conversation, one that is still on-going – and data was the ignition. The election itself came to be much more focused on the energy prices and inflation, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
How to combat inequity in a business-like advertising where most leaders are men?
Like with any big change, it starts with believing it is important. Out of the markets we run in EMEA, 3 out of 7 are creatively led by women – we know and want to do more. There is no reason for creative teams in agencies to not resemble the outside world. As an industry we need to be committed to ensuring that we represent those audiences we want to reach on the outside.
How have they managed to be the best creatively valued PR agency and one of the most awarded at festivals?
PR is still a little frowned upon in creative circles. But when you look at what the letter stands for, Public Relations, our business should be a source of inspiration. We build relations between brands and their audiences – on all levels in society. When Richard Edelman acquired our agency Deportivo 8 years ago, it was to add creativity to our already earned mindset. As an earned agency, we have the luxury to look at every brief as potentially award winning, while in creative agencies, you have lots of run of the mill kind of work.
What makes Edelman different?
From our Trust IP, we know brands need to act in society to be trusted by their audiences, and we know that having trust will increase growth. We have developed a method called The Edelman Action Method, to help brands get to brand relevant, trust building actions, that will earn their place in culture. The results in Luum Awards is a good indication for what this method can do, with gold for four different pieces of work – 3 of which in the most interesting category: Society.
Moving on to another topic, how much is fake news affecting advertisers?
Fake news is a huge problem for everyone and for advertisers too. The world has become divisive and polarized. For advertisers, the world becomes increasingly harder to navigate. Not only where to advertise, but also to stand firm in what they believe in, despite it annoying some groups of people.
Do you think that social networks are doing enough to control this phenomenon?
It’s not an easy thing to control, and groups driving fake news are sadly masterful in how they play and manipulate the algorithms. But yes, platforms can still do more in terms of visibility and algorithms; a lot of this type of content is built on division and hate, which drives engagement, which in turn drives visibility in feeds.
Could agencies be part of the solution?
We have to be. Having big budgets and the most creative minds in the world, it would be a disaster if we didn’t think about society and how to stand for data-based facts, openness, inclusion. Not every campaign should be a purpose campaign, but all campaigns should consider the role they play in society.