Clearing the Air

Not content to merely rep environmental clients or satisfied with bathing abusers in an emerald glow, interactive agency imc2 hopes to open the dialogue about so-called "green" marketing. The agency began this dialogue with its clients with its broad "Positive Impact Report," part of an in-depth discussion about five factors the execs feel are key to change: economic, people, services, society and environment. There's little doubt of consumer demand for new solutions. According to a recent DoubleClick Performics survey, 60 percent of online consumers consider environmental consciousness an important company trait. In fact, when presented with two similar products, 83 percent indicated they were "extremely likely or very likely" to choose the eco-option - and they'd pay up to 5 percent more to be conscientious.

Clear Sky Digital Media, a tool created by imc2 to calculate the carbon footprint of online display ads or media buys, is the first foray into carbon-neutralization from a buying perspective. The tool measures the carbon footprint of campaigns and then offers clients ways to purchase credits to offset their footprint and make campaigns neutral. According to Beth Bengtson, imc2 vice president of corporate social responsibility, working from the inside-out, instead of just placing a "green" or "CSR" label on products is "the only way to do it." The goal is to have their initiatives take root within the industry. And most of the time, Bengtson says, agencies are responsive to clients and trends. She firmly believes that clients will start looking at the practices of agencies and the top-down design of campaigns. Call it "supply-side environmentalism."

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