The Conscious Advertising Network (CAN) has teamed up with dentsu Creative to launch a second series of Conscious Thinking, the podcast which takes an uncompromising look at the most challenging issues facing the advertising industry.

SERIES TWO of Conscious Thinking has a new host: Ete Davies, Chief Operating Officer at dentsu Creative. Ete is a strategic and operational leader with over 20 years experience in the creative sector.

Listen to all the Conscious Thinking episodes on Spotify, Apple or right here:


With the recent launch of CAN’s new climate and sustainability manifesto, we discuss what, if any, meaningful progress our industry has made on climate and sustainability accountability over the past year.

Ete is joined by a distinguished panel of guests to discuss this substantial and significant topic: Jake Dubbins, Co-founder at the Conscious Advertising Network, Anna Lungley – Chief Sustainability Officer, Dentsu International, Suzie Rook – Head of Group Brand and Design, SSE plc and Stephen Woodford – CEO, Advertising Association. See full transcript here


In the recent inquest into the tragic death of Molly Russell, the coroner’s verdict was a world first in citing social media as a causal factor in a death, whereby he found that “Molly Rose Russell died from an act of self-harm whilst suffering from depression and the negative effects of online content.” Arguably one of the most emotive topics we’ll be covering in this series of Conscious Thinking, our panel discussed the implications of the Government delay to the new Children’s Wellbeing Code, part of the Online Safety bill.

Our host Ete Davies is joined by some distinguished guests to discuss this substantial and significant topic: Ollie Hayes – Policy & Campaigns Lead for Global Action Plan, Beth Kerr – Group Wellbeing Director at Cognita, the global schools group, Melanie Kentish – Managing Partner at Gleam (talent management & influencer marketing agency within the Dentsu Creative network), Callum Hood – Head of Research at the Centre for Countering Digital Hate. See full transcript here


The Qatar World Cup. It’s the first to be hosted in a Middle Eastern country, the first to take place in winter and the first global sporting event in world football since the pandemic. But regardless of the many firsts that there are to be acknowledged, it’s fair to say this World Cup has been amongst the most controversial in recent times. There are many questions around how Qatar was awarded the World Cup, to migrant worker deaths, to wider Human Rights issues and Controversies within the Qatari regime, and in particular, its stance on LGBTQ+ communities.

In this episode, we’ll explore the topic of brand sponsorship and activism with regards to controversial events, hosts, or nations in the sporting arena. We’ll also discuss what responsibility advertisers, brands, social media platforms – all connected with sporting events – have towards representation, inclusivity, and equality in sport, particularly when it comes to sport related and brand sponsorship marketing, advertising, and PR.

Ete is joined by some distinguished guests to discuss this substantial and significant topic: Amar Singh – Head of Content and Communications for MKTG Sports + Entertainment and Lou Englefield – Director of Pride Sports. See full transcript here


In the wake of the US midterms, the shock decisions on Roe vs. Wade from the Supreme Court and the ever-present spectre of politically motivated violence after the attack on the Capitol on January 6th 2021, in this episode we discussed what role Brands (and advertising more broadly) have to play in public discourse on social and political issues. We explored what’s next for brand activism, and examining political advertising in the US.

Ete is joined by some distinguished guests to discuss this substantial and significant topic: Ambika Pai – Chief Strategy Officer at Mekanism a US based creative agency, Claire Atkin – Brand Safety Advocate and Co-Founder of Check My Ads Institute – the adtech industry’s first and only watchdog and Doug Gordon – Co-Founder of Upshift Strategies, as strategic communications, also based in the US. See full transcript here


This is a follow up to a previous episode where we covered Brand Activism and Political Advertising in the wake of the US midterm elections. Joining Ete is Alex Tait – Founder of Reform Political Advertising, an organisation based here in the UK that is focused on regulation and awareness of political advertising for all. We spoke to him about the work he’s been doing with his organisation and how it impacts brands relationships with advertising and social media platforms. See full transcript here


With an increasingly fragmented media landscape, what does the future hold for data privacy, transparency, and regulation?

The phrases “Creator Economy” and “Experience Economy” have often been used to describe modern consumer behaviour and how brands drive growth in the 21st Century. However, the infrastructure powering each of these ‘economies’ and most influencing human behaviour (without us knowing) is data. So, in truth are we in “The Surveillance Economy” and as our media landscape continues to become more fragmented, should we give more consideration to consumer data literacy and review our contract with them?

Joining Ete in this episode are: Ossie Bayram – Country Director Ogury, Konrad Shek – Advertising Association Director of Policy Research and Matt Potter – Chief Content Officer Dentsu Creative and Author of We are all Targets. See full transcript here


This month’s policy briefing from António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, set out a common agenda and code of conduct on Information Integrity on Digital Platforms ahead of next year’s Summit of the Future.

In this episode of Conscious Thinking, our panel discusses the responsibility of the advertising industry to improve the protection of migrants and refugees from hate speech and discrimination. Global conflict, climate change and economic hardship has resulted in higher migration and more displaced people than modern times has ever experienced. How can the ecosystem of advertising work harder to protect the societies in which it operates?

This episode was recorded before the Migrant Boat disaster in Greece on the 18th June 2023

Our host Ete Davies, EMEA COO Dentsu Creative is joined by:

Pia Oberoi – Head of Migration & Human Rights, United Nations, Karen Middleton – Lecturer, Portsmouth University, Callum Hood – Head of Research, Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CDDH) & Matt Potter – Chief Content Officer, Dentsu. See full transcript here


To round off a great second season of the Conscious Advertising Network’s Conscious Thinking podcast, host Ete Davies is joined by Harriet Kingaby, Co-Founder of CAN to reflect on the some of the key themes covered in previous episodes including misinformation, human rights issues and climate & sustainability. Ete and Harriet also take a deep dive into the findings of the recent Conscious Advertising Network members survey, and how these insights will be used to drive their systemic change in the wider industry. Watch this space for a bonus episode to be recorded at the live Conscious Thinking event on 16th November, more info to follow soon. See full transcript here

Our host Ete Davies, EMEA COO Dentsu Creative is joined by Harriet Kingaby, Co Founder, Conscious Advertising Network


How can the advertising industry leverage AI’s potential while ensuring trust and authenticity in a climate of declining trust?
This was the substantive question posed in a special edition of the CAN podcast recorded live at the #ConsciousThinking event in London. With CAN’s Ad Fraud manifesto at the top of the industry agenda, the wide-ranging conversation highlighted the importance of taking accountability for minimising advertising fraud.
Guest Host Nicola Kemp, Editorial Director of Creativebrief is joined by a knowledgeable panel of guests to discuss this important issue: Dino Myers-Lamptey, Founder of The Barber Shop & Co-chair of CAN Advisory Group, Jules Kendrick, Managing Director UK & Europe at Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) and Maninder Paul, Founder of Digital Connectors. See full transcript here

A Dentsu Creative Production for the Conscious Advertising Network.

Host: Ete Davies – Chief Operating Officer, Dentsu Creative, EMEA & UK
Executive Producer: Jane White – Voluntary Events Director at CAN

Get to know CAN in 60 Seconds

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CAN is free to join, and we offer a range of memberships to suit all needs; sign up today.

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Our manifestos are designed for advertisers and agencies to adhere to and provide practical steps to make changes in their organisation.

Find out more

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To the CEOs of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat,

As many of us warned, the lack of adequate action by social media companies to combat online discrimination has once again left players in the public eye subject to horrendous levels of abuse.

The racism that we saw directed towards England’s players this week, when they should have been celebrating their highest finish in a major men’s tournament in over five decades, followed the trend of abuse that we have seen online over the past few years. Racist abuse causes trauma, not only to those who are targeted, but it also has a painful and triggering impact on others who view this online.

When offensive, dehumanising and threatening messages are sent to players, it’s not just a question for the social media platforms but those who fund them as well. We as brands, agencies, trade bodies and civil society organisations who work closely with teams and players have a voice, opportunity and responsibility to not stay silent.

That is why we are standing in solidarity with everyone who has received discriminatory abuse online and calling for all of us in the advertising industry to come together to find a solution.

Social networks must do more to make their platforms safe for everyone. Therefore, we are calling on you to:

1. Publish updated hate speech policies, that include the use of emojis, to support your zero tolerance approach.

2. Advertise your zero tolerance approach directly to users.

3. Enforce your policies and report racist abuse to the police, employers and relevant football clubs as a crime.

4. Add an interstitial to disrupt potentially racist remarks, and ensure human checking on all posts flagged in this way.

We expect these changes to have been made by the beginning of the 2021/22 Premier League season, 13th August 2021.

If you would like to join the signatories, please contact]



Conscious Advertising Network

Direct Line Group



Mars, Incorporated

British Gas

SSE plc

PepsiCo organization

Weetabix Food Company

Havas Media

KIND Snacks Ltd


On the Beach Plc

Hotel Chocolat

Portas Agency

Show Racism the Red Card

Fare Net



Campaign UK

International Advertising Association (UK)

Women in Advertising and Communication Leadership (WACL)

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA)

Creative Equals



Splendid Communications







VERB Brands



Eve Sleep


The Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE)

Charities Against Hate

The Beyond Collective


Yonder Media

Hall and Partners



AAR Group




Brand Advance Group

DECA Media Consultancy


Antisemitism Policy Trust

FCB Inferno

Wunderman Thompson UK

R/GA London

Born Social


Brooklyn Brothers

Stop Funding Hate

JW Collective

Total Media Group

Start Design

M&C Saatchi


What’s Possible Group

Hope Not Hate



We Are Social


Media Bounty

Center for Countering Digital Hate
Stop Funding Misinformation

Anything is Possible


Creative Culture



The Voice

The Jamaican Gleaner


Empower Agency



Mr. President

Underdog Sports Marketing



PUNK Creative

Migrants’ Rights Network





BBS Europe Ltd

Focus On Film


Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Gallium Ventures

Ambiquity Consulting

Bubbl Ltd

Great Guns


The Women in Programmatic Network

Emily Ad Woman Ltd

Harding Retail


LS Productions

Marshall Street Editors

Digital Voices



Gravity Road

Friday Sundae

Citizen Relations

The Marketing Store



Bauer Media

The Marketing Society




The Great Pitch Company

Ocean Outdoor

Belonging Studio Ltd.


The Advisory Collective


Institute for Strategic Dialogue


dentsu UK&I



Equally Ours



DDB Remedy

Build Global


Strike A Light

Atomic London


Automated Creative

NOBL Media

The Humane League UK

Republic of Media

Julia Macleod & LS Productions

Waypoint Partners





Kerry Chilvers, Brands Director, Direct Line

Jerry Daykin, EMEA Senior Media Director, GSK Consumer Healthcare

Meg Farren, CMO, KFC UK & Ireland

Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer, VirginMediaO2

Simon Groves, Director or Brand & Marketing, VirginMediaO2

Laura Lesser, Culture and Innovation, VirginMedia O2

Kristian Lorenzon, Digital Lead, VirginMediaO2

Jane Wakely, Lead CMO, Mars, Incorporated

Stuart McDonald, Head of Planning, Insight & Performance at British Gas

Andy Freeman, Marketing Director at British Gas

Suzie Rook, Head of Group Brand and Design, SSE plc

Karen Blackett OBE, CEO, GroupM UK

Tim Irwin, CEO, Essence EMEA

Kate Rowlinson, CEO, MediaCom UK

Jem Lloyd-Williams, CEO, Mindshare UK

Jack Swayne, CEO, mSIX EMEA

Darren Rodwell, Barking in Dagenham Council

Paul Hutchison, CEO, Wavemaker UK

Alistair Maccallum, CEO, Kinetic UK

Julian Douglas, Vice Chairman, VCCP Partnership

Patrick Affleck, CEO, Havas Media Group UK & Ireland, Havas Media Group London

Ben Downing, Global Managing Director, Ethical Media & Strategic Partnerships, Havas Media Group London

Layla Malki, Havas Media Group London

Catherine Newman, CMO, Manchester United Media

Amir Malik, Managing Director, Accenture

John McManus, Marketing Director, KIND Snacks Ltd

Danielle Fox, Group Head, Digital Client Services, Disney

Mary Portas, Creative Founder, We Are Portas

Ash Schofield, CEO, giffgaff

Zoe Harris, CMO, On the Beach

Ellie Edwards-Scott, Co-Founder of The Advisory Collective

Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and CEO, Hotel Chocolat

Lysa Hardy, CMO, Hotel Chocolat

Craig Inglis, Chairman, The Marketing Society

Sophie Devonshire, CEO, The Marketing Society

Nick Waters, Group CEO, Ebiquity

Pia Oberoi, Senior Advisor on Migration and Human Rights, UN Human Rights

Gayle Noah, Media Director, L’Oréal UKI


Claudine Collins, Chief Client Officer, MediaCom UK

Garrett O’Reilly, Managing Director, Hearts and Science

Nilesha Chauvet, Managing Director of Good

Chris Norman, CEO and Founder of Good

Anil Lamba, global industry director, auto

Cole De Luca, Account Management Lead — Strategic Accounts, Teads

Matt Zander, Strategic Account Manager, Teads

Julia Dudley, Strategic Account Intern, Teads

Paolo Mule, Global Industry Director, Teads

Ete Davies, CEO Creative, ENGINE Group UK

Annette King, CEO, Publicis Groupe UK

Sue Frogley, CEO, Publicis Media UK

Nadine Young, CEO, Starcom UK

Natalie Cummins, CEO, Zenith UK

Pete Edwards, CEO, Spark Foundry UK

Ottokar Rosenberger, CEO, Dreamlines (Cruise1st)

Lidya Cortberg, Creative Director, DDB Remedy London

Chris Gallery, Partner, Mother London

James Joice, Managing Director, Fold7

Richard Robinson, Managing Director, Xeim Engage

Dean Aragon, CEO of Shell Brands International AG

Helen Donovan, Community Manager, Tobacco Dock Workspaces

Laura JB

Jack Shukla, Account Manager, Europe

John Sadler, Director, Sadler Advisory Limited

Claire Randall, Claire Randall Consulting, Ltd // Advertising Production Consultants

Caireen, CEO, Portas Agency

Mary, Founder, Portas Agency

Gill Huber, Managing Partner, Oystercatchers

Helen Borkin​, Associate Director, Carat

Georgia Harding, Finance Manager, Mobsta Ltd

Adam Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer, Global Media & Entertainment

Magnus Djaba, CEO of Creative Practice, Publicis Groupe UK

Chris McCafferty, CEO of Influence Practice, Publicis Groupe UK

Charlie Rudd, CEO, Leo Burnett

Sarah Jenkins, MD, Saatchi & Saatchi

Trent Patterson, MD, Publicis, Poke

Paul Van Damme, Co-founder, Idea Gym

Sarah Warby, Chief Customer Officer, Nando’s UK&I

Richard Pattinson, Senior Vice President, BBC StoryWorks

Amy Williams, Good-Loop

Lauren McFarland, Senior Client Partner, Influencer

Stephanie Brimacombe, CEO Europe and Global Chief Marketing Officer, VCCP, Managing Director, Chime, VCCP Media

Steve Taylor, Joint Chief Strategy Officer, VCCP Media

Tara Marus, Joint CEO, VCCP Media.

Tommy Willis, Senior Creative, LADbible Group

Nicola Smith, Head of People & Talent, Ocean Outdoor

Richard Malton, Ocean Outdoor

Sarah-Jane May, Ocean Outdoor

Pete Metcalfe, MD, Carat

Ashley MacKenzie, CEO, Fenestra

Beth Freedman, CEO, dentsu X

Sheryl Marjoram, CEO, McCann London

Jason Foo, CEO, BDB Perfect Storm

Huw Morris, Partner At Lee & Thompson Llp

Nathan Bennett, Business Development Lead, OMGDOOH

Ben Bale, Creative Innovation Director, DRUM UK

Abbie David, Marketing Executive, IAA UK

Mick Carter, SVP Culture Marketing, The Marketing Arm

Lisa & Ellie, The Advisory Collective

Matt Wright, Managing Director of Operations, dentsu UK

Steven Scaffardi, Head of Mediatel Events, Mediatel Events

David Spon-Smith, Alchemy Network

Glyn Shadwell, Alchemy Network

Dan Clays, CEO, OMG UK

Ben Jeffries,

Natalie Joseph-Lowry, Head of Digital Trading, Wireless

Euan Jarvie, CEO, dentsu UK&I

Kelly Jacobson Collins, Privacy Compliance Director, DPO, Blis

Leon Robbins, Teads

Dani Bassil, CEO, Digitas

Jon Lonsdale, CEO, Octopus

James Herring, CEO, Taylor Herring

Mark Hughes, MD, Carat

Matthew Pover​, Chief Client Officer, What’s Possible Group

Barry Loughran, Managing Director Experience, dentsu

Jo Grierson, MD, MSL

Fredrik Borestrom, President, International Advertising Association, UK Chapter

Karen Carter, Chairperson, International Advertising Association, UK Chapter

Alec Samways, CEO, Splendid Communications

Niki Hunter Ekins, MD, Splendid Communications

Harriet Kingaby, Co-Founder, Conscious Advertising Network

Jake Dubbins, Co-Founder, Conscious Advertising Network

Nick Lowles, CEO, HOPE not hate

Lucy Cutter, President, Bloom Women’s Communication Network

Jane White, Founder, JW Collective

Will Hawkins, Managing Director, Start Design

Andy Orrick, Founder, Belonging, Creative Partner, Adoreum

Getnet Kassa, Senior Account Manager, The Voice Media Group

Andrew Stephens, Co-Founder, GOODSTUFF

Tom Jenen, Chief Revenue Officer, Brand Metrics UK, Ltd.

Zaid Al‑Zaidy​, Chief Executive Officer, THE BEYOND COLLECTIVE

Tom Bedwell, Above+Beyond

Ed Cox, Yonder Media

Samantha Dolan

Asad Dhunna, Chief Executive Officer, The Unmistakables

Martin Woolley​, Chief Executive Officer, The Specialist Works

Verity Brown, Managing Director, The Specialist Works

Jennie Farmer, Chief Commercial Officer, OKA

Cheryl Calverley, Chief Executive Officer, Eve Sleep

Tina Fegent, Director, Tina Fegent Limited

Chris Kenna, CEO and Founder, Brand Advance Group

Jake Butteriss, Brand Advance

Jessica Irwin, Brand Advance

Melanie Lawson-Wall, Brand Advance

Danny Stone MBE, Chief Executive, Antisemitism Policy Trust

Shadi Halliwell, CMO at Pizza Express

Christian Thrane, MD Marketing, BT Consumer — BT, EE, Plusnet

Matthew Styles​, Business Partner, MERKLE

Anthony Smallwood, Digital Business Director, PHD

Ali Reed, CEO, PHD UK

Dino Myers-Lamptey, Founder, The Barber Shop

Kerry Glazer, Chair, AAR Group

Mark Runacus MBE, Joint Chief Executive Officer, Outvertising

Lucy McKillop, Joint Chief Executive Officer, Outvertising

Dorian Leatham, CEO, Migrants’ Rights Network

Larissa Vince, Chief Executive Officer, NOW

Stephen Maher, Chair/Chief Executive Officer Mbastack, Chair Dma

Martin Verdult, Managing Director, MediaMonks

Melissa Chapman, Co-CEO, Jungle Creations

Nat Poulter, Co-CEO, Jungle Creations

Dr Edie Friedman, Executive Director, The Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE)

Stephanie Parry, Crown Commercial Service

Tasneem Eddoo, Crown Commercial Service

Shahla Mack, Crown Commercial Service

Julianah Owusu, Crown Commercial Service

Tracy Clark, Crown Commercial Service

Bridget Santander, Crown Commercial Service

Race Equality Network, Crown Commercial Service

Richard Rastall, Global Category Buyer — Digital, Advertising & Promotions, Imperial Tobacco

Sally Cairns, Chief People Officer, Global Media & Entertainment

Charlotte Hamill, COO & Partner, Born Social

Karen Martin, CEO, BBH Partners LLP

Lindsey​Clay, CEO, Thinkbox

John Quarrey, CEO, Krow Group

Jackie Stevenson & George Bryant, Founding Partners, The Brooklyn Brothers

Chris Duncan, CEO UK Publishing, Bauer Media

Cath Cimei, Chief Opportunities Officer, MurphyCobb & Associates Ltd

Jamie Callaghan, Business Director — Connections Planning, OMD

Jim Coleman, CEO, We Are Social

Pat Murphy, Founder/CEO, MurphyCobb

Justin Pahl, CEO, VMLY&R

Michael Sugden, CEO, VCCP

Sam Fenton-Elstone, CEO, Anything is Possible

Matt Longley, Managing Director, Mobsta

David Graham, Business Director, Mobsta

Adrian Manian, Head of Sales, Mobsta

John Scorah, Mobsta

Meena Miles, Mobsta

Olivia Barnes, Mobsta

George Dixon, Mobsta

Guillaume Kendall, Founder and CEO, Zedosh

Ben Matthews, Director, Empower Agency

Jane Strachan, Owner and MD, PUNK Creative

David Indo, CEO, ID Comms Advisory

Simon Akers, Archmon

Gill Green, Marketing Director, Bigham’s

Laura Sanderson, Teads

Ryan Cook, Teads

Justin Taylor, MD UK, Teads

Sophie Evans, Creative Strategist, Teads

Stephen Bullivant, Teads

Ewelina Kapinos, Teads

Michelle Le-Ward, Teads

Amy China Wire, Teads

Graham Alexander, Teads

Bronwen Ellis, Teads

Iain Gilmore, Teads

Louise Mbugua, Teads

Global Business

Charlotte Anderson, GrowthNB

Claire Hynes, CEO, Mr. President

Mark C Howarth, Managing Director, MCH London & VP Professional Development, International Advertising Association

Rachel Foster

Gavin Stirrat, COO, Adimo

David Clasen

Dan Beynon, Head of Education, SMRS

Marcus Brown, Founder, The Great Pitch Company, Co-Founder, BLITZWORKS

Collette Philip, Founder, Brand by Me

Helen James, Managing Director, Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Jon Goulding CEO, Atomic London

Becky Lalanne, Ambiquity Consulting

Jo Eckersley, CEO, Bubbl Ltd

Charlotte Childs, Chief Product Officer, Bubbl Limited

Laura Gregory, Founder and CEO, Great Guns

Tom Ollerton, Founder, Automated Creative

Camilla Honey, Managing Director, jfdi

Patrick Donovan, Managing Director, Tobacco Dock

Ivo van Vollenhoven, Managing Partner, Twentyfour seven

Nick Barthram, Founder, Firehaus

Marie Owen, CEO, LS Productions

Natalie Bell, CEO, MG OMD

Paul Knight, CEO, OmniGOV

John Mayes, Marshall Street Editors

S.J. O’Mara, Marshall Street Editors

Tom Kata, Tom Kata Design

Sam Jones, CEO, Gener8

Zia Tully, Head of Sales, Gener8

Jennifer Quigley-Jones, CEO, Digital Voices

Karen Stacey, CEO, DCM

Catherine Morgan, Director of Ocean Labs, Ocean Outdoor

Henry Daglish, Chief Executive Officer, Bicycle London

Andrew Newman, CEO and Co-founder,

Sabrina Clarke-okwubanego, Managing Partner, Build Global

Liam Mullins, Managing Partner, the7stars

Mark Eaves, Founder, Gravity Road

Mark Boyd, Founder, Gravity Road

Oli Richards, dentsu

Veronique Rhys Evans, dentsu

Vanella Jackson, Global CEO, Hall and Partners

Rachel & Anil Glendinning, Founders, Friday Sundae

Laura Fenton, CEO, OMD UK

Simon Watson, Head of Digital, Republic of Media

Amar Chohan, Managing Director, Contagious

Lewis Rahman Salawu, Head of Digital Activation, Hearts & Science

Louise Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, FUSE

Prof. Gary Shuckford, Edenbridge Healthcare Ltd

Hazel Soanes, Managing Partner, DDB Remedy

Charlie Carpenter, CEO, Creativebrief

Jawwad Mustafa

Simon Rutherford, Managing Director, Cubaka

Hugh Pile, CEO, Blue Skies

Kenneth Kulbok, Avocet

Lindsey Whitehouse, Managing Director, integrity events

Stephen Knight, Pimento, Premier Recruitment, Pimento People, Pimento Partners and Now Next Why Ltd

Minal Patel, Marketing by Minal

Tim Sleath,

Ben Hardman, Tiny Eco Home Life

Jeremy Hine, Mullen Lowe Group

Tom Buttle, President & UK Managing Director, MWW

Michael Kempner, Founder & CEO, MWW

Richard Jamieson, Head of Partnerships, New Statesman Media Group

Emily Britton, Head of Publisher Development, Mantis

Sarah Blowers, Co-Artistic Director, Strike a Light

Mark Taylor, Global Account Director, Mediacom

Cilla Goldberger, Managing Director, Amsalem Business Travel UK Ltd

Rob Dembitz, CCO, Handi Technology

Jeff Cobb, Director, Cobb Collective

Jim Houghton, Waypoint Partners

MJ Widomska, Creative Director at YRS TRULY

Jo Grierson, MD, MSL

Lloyd Page, Chief Marketing Officer, Motorway Online Ltd.

Anthony Ganjou, CEO, Handi

Claudine Collins, Chief Client Officer, MediaCom UK

Laura Gomez, Digital PR Executive, iProspect

Laurence Parkes​, CEO, Rufus Leonard

Jacob Knox-Hooke, PHD Global Business

Dominic Miller, Chief Operating Officer, Fishawack Health

Gabby Edlin, CEO and Founder, Bloody Good Period

Ruth Kieran, CEO, Cirkle

Paul Hinds, Managing Director, APAC

Victoria Fox, AAR Group

Tracey Stern

Alex Batchelor, Chair, Watch Me Think

Simon Walton​, Brand Lead, 87Social

Shirran Postlethwaite, Account Director, Merkle | DWA

Aidan Hughes​, Senior Lead ‑ Paid Social, Merkle

Vicky Blackburn, Finance Manager ‑ Germany, Merkle | DWA

Oli Dodd​, Paid Social Manager, Merkle

Sam Turner, Strategy & Planning Lead, Merkle

Of note:

Professional Footballers’ Association statement 12th July 2021

Kick it Out statement 12th July 2021

Letter from football bodies 11th Feb 2021

Enough Campaign by the Professional Footballers’ Association 19th April 2021

Show Racism the Red Card statement, July 12th 2021

CAN co-chair, Jake Dubbins of Media Bounty speaking at the UN

The Conscious Advertising Network has run on volunteer power since our first meeting 3 years ago.

In that time, we’ve spoken at the UN, put on sold out events, created training and manifestos that guide the industry and worked with our civil society partners to elevate the issues of hate and disinformation within the industry.

And now we have big news, we’ve received funding from two different funders, to continue our work, including on misinformation, hate, climate change, and platform governance.

More news to come, but our website refresh will include references to our new funders:

The Quadrature Climate Foundation

The Quadrature Climate Foundation (QCF) commits a portion of its annual profits to fighting the climate emergency. Their mission is to urgently shift the current global climate trajectory towards a better future through philanthropic giving and the persuasion of others to join in the effort.

The European Climate Foundation

This project has been supported by the European Climate Foundation, who cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained or expressed therein.

What does this mean for members?

Nothing as yet, but we will make some new announcements soon. The funding will help us provide a better service for all of our members, as well as further our mission to ensure the ethics catches up with the technology of modern advertising. We’ll also be releasing a number of positions via our LinkedIn and job sites, so stay tuned.

Does this mean you’ll only work on climate change?

No. Although the focus of the funding is on climate change work in 2021, the issues we work on are interlinked and funding will support our holistic mission.

Can logo

The recent Facebook boycotts pose a headache for charities. On one hand, Facebook is a key fundraising tool, on the other, it stands accused of failing to take action on hate speech, setting back civil rights, and posts on the platform are implicated in genocide in Myanmar. Not to mention removing fact checks from climate denial.

Over 1100 companies worldwide have pulled millions of dollars in advertising from the social network, with brands from Coca-Cola to Ford, Unilever and Disney demanding that Facebook monitor hate speech more aggressively. And grassroots campaigns are now targeting brands and organisations who don’t take action.

However, the issue is far broader than simply one platform. To understand the problem in its and think about solutions, we must look at the role of advertising as the funder of a free and open web.

Let me speak plainly — part of your ad spend is probably working against your charitable intentions.

We at The Conscious Advertising Network encourage advertisers to see their ad spend as an investment in the online world they would like to see. Advertising is an imperfect funder of the internet, and with that great power comes great responsibility. Issues with advertising funding hate speech and misinformation are way bigger than just one platform alone.

A $235 million problem

Advertising as a key funder of online hate and misinformation, which disrupts elections, incites religious violence, and is stopping us effectively tackling climate change. At least $235 million in revenue is generated annually from ads running on extremist and disinformation websites, fueled in part by well-known companies across all sectors, according to The Global Disinformation Index. Even the UN are concerned, CAN steering committee members took part in an event dubbed the ‘Economics of Hate’ in 2019.

Sadly, we consistently find brand clashes on hate speech on the open web and on other platforms. Think Muslim charities on websites owned by members of the far-right, environmental and sustainability-based organisations on YouTube channels touting climate denial, or even those supporting human rights defenders appearing next to white supremacist narratives. By appearing on these sites, these charities are inadvertently funding content and people who work directly counter to their mission.

And the results are shocking. One of our charity members has had to move offices because of racist thugs threatening their staff, hate crimes have doubled in 5 years, and we have 10 years to stop catastrophic climate change. These issues are here, they’re on our doorstep, and they’re partially fuelled by our advertising money.

Diverse media is struggling for funding

“We’re optimising for a straight, white internet.” Chris Kenna, Brand Advance

The funding of harmful and illegal content is not the only problem with the system. Diverse publications are also struggling for funding, due to blocklisting used in programmatic advertisement placement. Blocklists are words which advertisers do not want to appear next to, such as an airline listing the word ‘crash’.

However, A study by Vice found that words such as ‘Muslim’ and ‘lesbian’ were blocked more often than ‘guns’ and ‘murder’, and Cheq estimates that 73% of safe LGBT content is rendered unmonetisable due to blocklists. This means that vital publications for diverse communities struggle to fund themselves under the current system of programmatic advertising.

All of the above is degrading internet health and placing more burden on affected communities.

Solutions can be simple

It’s time to think of your media spend as an investment in the kind of online world you want to see, and solutions can be simple.

The Conscious Advertising Network has created a clear roadmap for how advertisers can act to avoid funding the worst of the internet, and to better fund the bits we need to keep. We’re free to join, and all our materials are open source.

This month is #ConsciousAdMonth, and we’re asking every advertiser and every agency to take at least an hour this month to sit down and say ‘What are we doing already to tackle hate speech, ad fraud & fake news? What more can we do? How can we instead fund journalism, quality content and diversity?’. If you work on the publisher/platform side then ask yourself how you can make this easier for advertisers, to guarantee safety in your environments, and how we can work together as an industry to improve measures of quality & attention, and bring them into our trading.

At the very least, you can join CAN, use our audit tool to work out how you can use your adspend more effectively. Many of our members also offer solutions to help you spend you ad money in a way more in tune with your charity’s aims. For example:

  • Brand Advance place ads with diverse media to ensure it is funded.
  • Good Loop offer ‘opt in’ ad formats which also make donations to charity.
  • Media Bounty are a creative social media agency with a conscience.

Example tips


  • Audit yourselves against the CAN hate speech and misinformation manifestos.
  • The key thing is to direct more spend to quality, diverse publications, and defund the rubbish.
  • Ask to see a full site list of where your ads appear.
  • You’ll likely want to ignore your ‘performance metrics’ for a bit and be creative.
    You might want to think about things like creating strong inclusion lists, as opposed to relying on key word blocking, and if you can afford it, switch to contextual brand safety tools to ensure you don’t appear in places you don’t want to.


  • They’re listening to you right now. Use your collective voice to talk to them.
  • Look for new ones, get creative.
  • Compile lists of creators and channels you’d like to support, and those who are off limits.

A huge thanks to GOOD Agency, whose invitation to speak inspired this post. Get in touch with us at for more information.