Monday, March 02, 2009

MS&L Launches Proprietary Social Activism Marketing Offering to Leverage New Age of Cause Marketing

MS&L Launches Proprietary Social Activism Marketing Offering to Leverage
New Age of Cause Marketing

BOSTON, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- MS&L, one of the world's leading
communications firms, today announced the launch of its Social Activism
Marketing specialty, a bold approach that blends the power of corporate
social responsibility and cause marketing with the penetration of
digital tools to spawn social movements that move messages, product and
profit on behalf of companies and brands.

The new specialty will be launched at an evening event in Boston on
February 26 featuring cause marketing experts who will explore the power
of social activism. Attending the event will be Thomas Gensemer,
managing partner of Blue State Digital, which spearheaded Obama for
America's extensive online fundraising and peer-to-peer networking
initiatives, and Eleanor Dowling, editorial and community leader of and a key player in the success of Timberland's
Earthkeeper Heroes Program. Gensemer and Dowling will join MS&L's CSR
and marketing experts to explore the renewed focus on cause marketing in
the context of President Obama's spotlight on community service and the
increased corporate interest in connecting to a higher purpose.

MS&L's proprietary Social Activism Marketing (SAM) Optimization process
includes four stages of social movement that corporations can utilize to
develop unique cause programs. The SAM process takes into account the
current economic environment, research on the relationship between
corporations and service, and the power of relationship management via
digital tools. MS&L will help clients identify the intersection of
corporate social responsibility and cause marketing to facilitate social
movements, drive influence and maximize the reach of a particular

"We consider 2009 the year when values and activism will come together
to transform communications and marketing," said Scott Beaudoin, senior
vice president and director of cause marketing at MS&L. "Our methodology
for Social Activism Marketing pinpoints the best ways to hyper-engage
consumers and influencers in support of a powerfully relevant cause,
producing maximum business results and social impacts for the sponsor."

A unique relationship between corporate values, activism and reputation
has emerged, influencing the launch of MS&L's SAM specialty. Proprietary
research from the MS&L Worldwide Global Values study, conducted in May
2008 in partnership with GfK Roper Public Affairs, underscores the ripe
opportunity for companies and brands to leverage consumer activism on
social issues and their unprecedented access to information about
corporate behavior.

The study of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that:

* 72 percent believe a company or organization can have "values"
just the way people do;
* 85 percent believe a company can be financially successful by
behaving in "a responsible way;"
* 56 percent of describe it as "very important" to them to know
about the values of the companies with whom they do business;
* 77 percent almost always or sometimes pay attention to company's
values when deciding whether to give it their business; and
* 59 percent said they can a lot or some about an organization's
"real values" through online information.

"It's clear that the concepts of value and values are rapidly merging in
the minds of consumers," said Jim Tsokanos, president of MS&L, North
America. "People want to be engaged with companies that share their
values. Our Social Activism Marketing specialty will help organizations
capitalize on the growing expectation that profit should be pursued in a
responsible way locally, nationally and globally."

The launch of this new specialty builds on MS&L's innovative CSR work in
the consumer, corporate and healthcare areas. In 2008, MS&L was honored
as the top agency in CSR by Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine;
won Cause-Related Campaign of the Year from PRWeek in 2007 and Best Use
of the Internet honors from PRWeek in 2006 and 2007; and is currently a
PRWeek finalist for Cause-Related Campaign of the Year. MS&L works with
companies such as Sunkist Growers and Procter & Gamble on
ground-breaking cause programs that empower individuals to contribute to
social causes in their communities and around the world.

About MS&L

MS&L is a leading global communications firm and part of MS&L Worldwide,
a network of communications brands and consultancies with 54 offices in
North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia, as well as an extensive
affiliate network. The agency specializes in using research, insights
and technology to create and execute powerful communications strategies
that are critical to client success. With a unique combination of
advice, advocacy and action, MS&L delivers measurable business results
for many of the world's largest companies and most successful brands.

MS&L Worldwide ( <> ) is a
member of the Publicis Groupe (Euronext Paris: FR0000130577), the
world's fourth largest communications group, and a global leader in
digital and online advertising, media consulting, and healthcare
communications. With some 45,000 professionals in 104 countries, the
Groupe's activities cover advertising through three global advertising
networks: Leo Burnett, Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi, as well as through
its two multi-hub networks Fallon Worldwide and 49%-owned Bartle Bogle
Hegarty; media agencies with two worldwide networks ZenithOptimedia and
Starcom MediaVest Group; and marketing services, including digital and
interactive communications through Digitas, relationship and direct
marketing, public and media relations, corporate and financial
communications, multicultural communications, and event communications.
The Groupe is also the world leader in healthcare communications. Web
site: <> .

CONTACT: Sara Donaldson
(212) 468-3893

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