ACT Responsible and Nielsen reveal findings from their first survey on Corporate Responsibility in the global advertising industry

ACT Responsible and Nielsen, a global leader in audience measurement, announced the results of their global survey on corporate responsibility in the advertising industry. The survey aimed to showcase how advertising agencies across the globe embrace corporate responsibility and economic, social, and environmental factors. 

Overall, 43% of respondents stated their agency is doing a good or great job and another 37% report that their agency is more “average” totaling 79% of agencies that rated their work at three out of five stars or above. Meanwhile, 21% responded that their agency is below average or doing poorly. Fewer than half of all agencies (48%) actively track progress of their corporate responsibility progress and just over one-third (36%) have a team dedicated to corporate responsibility. 

Overall findings show that: 

  • 35% say CR has only become a concern in the last three years 
  • 17% say CR has been an agency focus for 10 or more years
  • 80% identify diversity and inclusion as a key theme in their agency
  • 66% identify the environment as a key theme in their agency
  • 76% of EU respondents say the environment is a priority, compared to 63% in the US and 29% in South America
  • 90% of US respondents say diversity & inclusion is a priority, compared to 70% of EU respondents
  • 58% identify employee management as a key theme in their agency
  • 44% identify supporting charities as a key theme in their agency
  • 14% identify responsible supply chain management as a priority 


« We believe ad agencies are key players in driving the Corporate Responsibility agenda and getting the industry to walk the talk in sustainability is essential. The findings show that while the topic is important to agencies, it’s critical that they measure their progress to showcase the excellent work they’re doing,” says Isa Kurata, Co-Founder of ACT Responsible. “Working together to track core KPIs will allow us to take our actions to the next level. We are grateful to the Nielsen team for its commitment to this important project and hope will be the start of a long collaboration.” 

This research is intended to help agencies and advertisers recognise and engage with the world in a positive, responsible way,” said Cathy Heeley, International Media Analytics Lead, Nielsen. “These insights are important for those seeking to improve their corporate social responsibility, or further continue their already strong efforts.” 

Ful information and infographics:

The survey was distributed to senior leadership teams around the world by ACT Responsible Advisory Board members*. It contained 45 questions divided in 6 sections covering Corporate Responsibility with regards to environmental, social, company and product policies. It collected responses from 212 senior management for 110 agencies in 40 countries. It ran from March to May 2022. 

*Advisory Board including the International Advertising Association (IAA), AdForum, Havas Group, Interpublic Group (IPG), Publicis Groupe, WPP Group, Anomaly, FCB, Grey Group, McCann Worldgroup, TBWA Worldwide, and Wunderman Thompson, with the support of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and the French Association of Communication Agencies (AACC).