A group shot of the EssenceMediacom inspiring inclusivity panel discussion at Cannes 2023

Inspiring Inclusivity

The Cannes Esssentals - Inspiring Inclusivity: Investing in Diversity

The impact that diversity and inclusion can have on the bottom line was celebrated with Danone, Colgate-Palmolive and AARP.

EssenceMediacom US CEO Jill Kelly hosted Inspiring Inclusivity: Investing in Diversity and highlighted the power of measurement to drive change. Linda Bethea, Head of Marketing at Danone North America, shared that the company was now spending 5% of its budget with diverse media owners, driving the bottom line. “Doing good and delivering business results,” she said.

Barbara Shipley, Senior Vice President, Brand Integration at over-50s lobby group AARP said the company advocated for 110 million people who are over 50 in the US and that measuring different types of diversity was a challenge. “You have to think about different life experiences and impact has to be measured however people live and whatever their culture. There is a lot we don’t think about when it comes to measurement,” she commented.

Laurent Cayet, Worldwide Director, Brand Equity & Content at Colgate-Palmolive, said diversity measurement was helping change a culture of ads focused on middle-aged men. “We have now changed this and we measure twice a year,” she said.

When challenged how they would handle a situation like that faced by Bud Light, Barbara said AARP always put plans in place, with risk assessments and a mitigation plan to ensure they can handle blow back situations. “Often it’s about how you get the internal back bone,” she said.

Ultimately, as Jill summed up, you need to be confident in your convictions and stick to your guns.