Health Is Beauty

CBS' EcoMedia: Turning Advertising Into an Engine for Social Change

CBS CORPORATION
(left to right): Anthony G. Ambrosio, Charlie Rose who served as the evening’s Emcee, Paul Polizzotto, and Leslie Moonves

What if the commercials we watch on television weren’t merely intended to entertain and lure? What if those same commercials transformed communities by creating jobs; supporting environmental, health and education initiatives; and saving taxpayers money? Sounds pretty dreamy, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s happening right now. EcoMedia, a CBS-backed company, is helping its advertisers affect change in communities with which they advertise nationwide. At an event in Midtown Manhattan this week, EcoMedia announced the expansion of its EcoAd program with EducationAd and WellnessAd programs, all of which allow advertisers, such as GM, to fund critical, tangible social-improvement projects through their advertising buys.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Paul Polizzotto, President of CBS EcoMedia Inc. and the man with the vision to dream this up.

“It is important for the world to know that advertising dollars can be applied to assist non-profits that are taking on the most urgent social issues of our time,” he said. “Our EcoAd, WellnessAd and EducationAd programs engage consumers in a fundamentally new way, changing the conversation between viewers and advertisers. We encourage consumers to expect more from commercials.”

In attendance at the event were senior CBS figures, including Leslie Moonves, chairman and chief executive of the CBS Corporation; George F. Schweitzer, president of the CBS Marketing Group; and Charlie Rose, an anchor of “CBS This Morning.” I had the opportunity to chat with Maurice DuBois, award-winning CBS New York Anchor, who expressed his excitement about EcoMedia, and who also happens to serve on Robin Wilson’s board. Small world indeed.

EcoMedia2
Lindsay E. Brown of Eco-Chick.com and Emma Grady of TreeHugger.com and PastFashionFuture.com

CBS encourages viewers to keep an eye out for their EcoAd, EducationAd and WellnessAd program logos on commercials presented across their many platforms. These icons signify that the advertiser isn’t just out for number 1 — but that they have provided funding for one of a number of urgent and underfunded projects, some of which include solar power installations, organic gardens, tree plantings, mobile health clinics, education scholarships, and nutritious meals for school children in underserved communities.

Non-profit partners include, but aren’t limited to, Forest Stewardship Council, Volunteeers of America, Waterkeeper Alliance, Junior Achievement, Waste Management, Environmental Charter School, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Children’s Health Fund, and the Kids in Need Foundation.

Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation addressed guests. “We value the tremendous contribution EcoMedia has made not only within CBS in growing our offerings to advertisers, but more importantly to the numerous communities that have directly benefited from the projects EcoMedia has implemented.”

Follow Lindsay E. Brown on Twitter.

Top Photo: John P. Filo/CBS

Bottom Photo: Lindsay E. Brown/Eco-Chick.com

Lindsay has spent her career at the intersection of media and social change. In her role at Eco-Chick, Lindsay has established partnerships and campaigns with some of the world’s most-recognized companies committed to sustainability and CSR. She co-created the popular interview series “Heroines for the Planet” that features groundbreaking women who share courage and a deep passion for protecting people and the Earth. Lindsay is the Marketing and Sustainability Manager at Health-Ade Kombucha and previously served as Director of Communications at the social enterprise CBS EcoMedia. There she directed corporate advertising dollars to the nation’s most effective non-profits tackling urgent social issues in local communities and was awarded CBS Corporation’s prestigious Share-the-Vision award. She has written for Whole Living Magazine, Edible, Cottages & Gardens, From The Grapevine, EarthHour.org, Eco-Age.com, and for environmentalists Laura Turner Seydel and Susan Rockefeller. Lindsay holds a BS in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.