corporate social responsibility

In a speech David Ogilvy made to his company staff at a 1960s holiday party, he listed specific behaviors that he admired in his employees. Among the behaviors he praised was community involvement. He said:

CSR quote

Ogilvy has a long-standing history of giving back to the community. Our culture provides an environment that allows grassroots movements to flourish when a few employees get together with a passionate vision in mind.

While Ogilvy supports many organizations and educational institutions with its philanthropy, it is the gift of our biggest asset – the big ideas and the people who create them – which we are most proud of.

Below is a sampling of our efforts around the word.

pro bono

Ogilvy offices around the world produce hundreds of pro bono campaigns for good causes every year. This work is worth more than a cash donation. These pro bono efforts help charities recruit new members, create public awareness, and further their campaigns. Many of our pro bono relationships are long-standing partnerships, helping a chosen charity over several years. Here are a few examples:


WWF – Ogilvy’s partnership with the WWF dates back to 1977 when David Ogilvy, as a member of the WWF’s Executive Committee, offered his agency's services to produce advertising in support of environmental issues. And for the past 32 years, this partnership has continued with great success and accolades. In the past year, Ogilvy offices around the world have worked with the WWF in their fight to save the planet.

special olympics

Special Olympics – Ogilvy Mexico created a campaign to promote awareness for the Special Olympics, a little known event in the country. We created a logo, billboards, and postcards, all of which increased exposure for the event.


Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS – Ogilvy Group Russia teamed up with TPAA to develop the “StopAIDS” campaign designed to encourage people to take the HIV test and to find out their HIV status.


Caisse Générale de la Sécurité Sociale – Reunion Island is the first French territory with more road deaths caused by drunk than sober drivers. La Caisse Général de la Sécurité Sociale (the French Social and Health Security) commissioned Luvi Ogilvy to raise public awareness of this issue.

una sweden

UNA Sweden – Ogilvy Stockholm’s “True Evidence” campaign for the UN brought home the immense suffering endured by the civilians of the war in Georgia. The Ogilvy team went to Georgia and collected personal items belonging to the victims of the war and encased them in billboards around Sweden. The result was a powerful campaign that raised awareness about the impact of war on civilians and raised money to help the war victims.


ANAD - To help the charity ANAD raise awareness about anorexia, Ogilvy Frankfurt re-painted world famous masterpieces by painters such as Manet, Boucher and Ingres to demonstrate the unhealthy beauty ideals promoted by today’s media and fashion industry. These paintings were then displayed in fine art museums – precisely where visitors would expect to see manifestations of true beauty.


Greenpeace - To encourage people to sign Greenpeace’s global petition for the creation of international Marine Reserves, Ogilvy Johnannesburg designed a series of posters featuring sculptures of various undersea creatures – anemones, starfish, and sponges – made from pencils. Each pencil represents the difference one person’s signature can make on saving our oceans for ourselves and those who come after us.

pro bono gallery
Visit our Pro Bono section to learn more about our many campaigns around the world.

Environmental Responsibility

Ogilvy has taken great strides to participate in our parent company WPP’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. We strive to minimize our impact on the environment from our energy use, transport, and consumption of paper and other resources. Many of our offices have launched internal programs and initiatives aimed at fostering green practices among employees. Here are some examples from various offices:

Ogilvy India – Reverse side of printed documents/photocopies are used as writing pads, pencils are encouraged vs. pens; lights are turned off after 8:00pm.

Ogilvy New York – Uses 100% recycled paper products; switched to 100% renewable energy; moved to a brand new office space in summer 2009 and is working towards getting the building to be LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the United States Green Building Council.

Ogilvy Romania – Established Green Box, an internal recycling program in 2007, which has recycled 14 tons of paper, equivalent of saving 238 trees.

Ogilvy Switzerland – Courier by bicycle instead of cars, majority of employees use public transportation or bike to work (only two employees in entire office drive to work.)

ogilvyearthIn May 2009 we launched OgilvyEarth, a first-of-its-kind global sustainability practice. Driven by an outstanding team from around the world, representing advertising, public relations, interactive, activation, entertainment and other of our disciplines, OgilvyEarth helps grow our client business by combining what we already know about brand transformation with powerful insights into sustainability.

Below are a few examples of how OgilvyEarth has helped clients in their sustainability efforts. To see more work please visit

Dupont - May 4th 2007, the town of Greensburg, Kansas was almost completely destroyed by a Force 5 tornado. Greensburg’s residents decided to do something extraordinary: Rebuild Greensburg as America’s first green town. The call went out for corporate help and DuPont stepped in. With their knowledge and portfolio of safety and sustainable building products, DuPont was uniquely positioned to fulfill the town’s dream to rebuild green.

IBM – Ogilvy helped IBM show IT executives that they have an opportunity to play a critical role in the greening of their company and a responsibility to the world to do it and to the bottom line.

Qantas – OgilvyEarth helped the airline launch an internal employee "begreen” sustainability program.

Tetra Pak – OgilvyEarth worked with the packaging company to develop a campaign to educate its market in the positive environmental impact of its product so that consumers might look for and choose its brand of packaging in their efforts to make a difference in the world.

“HopenHagen” – The leaders of OgilvyEarth are currently working with the International Advertising Association and the United Nations on a campaign, “HopenHagen” for the United Nations Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change in December.

Community Involvement

Ogilvy is committed to serving the communities where we live and work. Year-round, all over the globe, our employees donate time, energy and creativity to help nonprofit organizations pursue their missions. Many of our offices support this activity by giving employees paid time off to volunteer or by organizing volunteering events.

Ogilvy New York hosts an annual Corporate Service Day, when employees can choose from a list of volunteering activities.

Ogilvy Canada supports the Yonge St. Mission at Christmas every year with staff volunteering to collect and deliver goods to the Mission for less fortunate families.

Ogilvy Romania became an official sponsor of “Acuarela” an art therapy center for children with disabilities. Ogilvy employees volunteered to work on the center and held an employee sponsored auction to raise funds.

Ogilvy Germany’s Chairman, Lothar Leonhard has been giving 1% of his net income to charity since 1989 under the condition that at least 19 other employees follow suit. At the end of the year, the majority votes which charity will benefit from the fundraising campaign. In 2008, 24 employees participated, raising approximately 21,000 Euros.

Lacek, OgilvyOne’s Loyalty Marketing practice based in Minneapolis, sponsored a companywide food drive to collect food and money for Second Harvest Heartland, the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger relief organization.

Ogilvy China helped rebuild the lives of the victims of the Sichuan earthquake through multiple means: donating RMB 200,000 to the China Red Cross; building a primary school in cooperation with the Ministry of Sichuan; providing 200,000 specially designed fans printed with health and safety tips, to keep victims cool from the summer heat; changing its website colors to black and white to mourn the victims of the disaster.

tsunamir relief

Established in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, the Ogilvy & Mather Tsunami Relief Fund continues to support projects in the affected countries. Most recently, the Fund’s efforts have been focused on Sri Lanka where our office has remained closely and passionately involved with how the money is used. Working with the Helping Hands Trust, we’ve funded education, nutrition and livelihood assistance programs.

In addition, many Ogilvy executives give pro bono advice and support and serve as trustees and advisors for nonprofit institutions. For example:

Jordi Alavedra, Group Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Barcelona, is a Board Member of the Special Olympics.

Peter Paul Blommers, CEO Ogilvy Netherlands, is Chairman of Orange Babies.

Tim Broadbent, Global Effectiveness Director, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, is Visiting Professor and Advisor to the Dean for the University of Arts London.

Bill Gray, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy North America, is Board Member of American Red Cross of Greater New York and Trustee at the New York Public Library.

Carla Hendra, CEO Ogilvy North America, Chairman Ogilvy New York, is Board Member of Dress for Success.

Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, is a Board Member of the WWF, American Museum of Natural History, NYC Partnership, NY Presbyterian Hospital, and Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy.

Miles Young, CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, is Visiting Professor, Xiamen University, a Member of the Advisory Board, Tsinghua School of Journalism, and Member of China Committee, China Committee of Harpur Trust.

Date: August 20, 2009