Publishers are seeing increases in advertiser requests around climate and sustainability coverage

October 26, 2021

By Sara Guaglione

As publishers invest in more climate coverage this year, the question remains whether or not this content category is also drawing interest from advertisers.

For BBC, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Group Nine Media and The Economist, the answer is yes — with most saying advertisers are sending out more requests for publishers to pitch campaign or sponsorship opportunities around their solutions-based journalism, showing a growing interest this year in publishers’ coverage of climate and sustainability.

The key details:

  • For BBC, between half and two-thirds of advertiser briefs “contain a sustainability element,” said Lori Suchcicki, svp ad sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa at BBC Global News.
  • Out of Bloomberg’s top 50 biggest proposal budgets, about 20% are around sustainability, according to a spokesperson. Ad revenue from Bloomberg’s climate-focused property Bloomberg Green increased 144% from January 2020 to January 2021.
  • The FT has seen a tenfold increase in request in proposals (RFPs) year over year from advertisers seeking to align themselves with the FT’s climate, sustainability and ESG content, according to Brendan Spain, vp of advertising for the Americas at the FT. Of the advertising RFPs the FT has received, about 40% to 50% mentioned climate or sustainability as a contextual alignment request, Spain said. 
  • Sponsorships around Group Nine’s climate and sustainability content in Q3 and Q4 has brought in revenue in the eight-figure range, according to a spokesperson.
  • The Economist Group is landing six- or seven- figure, multi-year deals around its Sustainability Project, an initiative that launched Sept. 29 from the company’s business unit Economist Impact, according to Claudia Malley, president/managing director partnerships at Economist Impact.


BBC’s Suchcicki declined to share specifically how much briefs from advertisers mentioning climate has gone up in the past few months, but called it a “huge increase.” Future Planet, BBC’s climate change and sustainability vertical launched last year, is currently running “Carbon Cost,” a special series sponsored by Scottish Development International on some of the biggest issues to be negotiated at next month’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. On the BBC Future vertical, Walmart is sponsoring “Towards Net Zero,” a sustainability series looking at nine countries’ progress on climate since signing the Paris Agreement. “Follow the Food: The Carbon Challenge” will air on and BBC World News on Oct. 30, one of two special episodes around food security sponsored by Corteva Agriscience.


Brands like Tiffany, Ralph Lauren and General Motors “wouldn’t typically” be a client of Bloomberg’s but are coming to the publisher for work in thought leadership around climate and sustainability, said Anne Kawalerski, global chief marketing officer at Bloomberg Media. Bloomberg Green “becomes the tip of the spear” for more partnership opportunities across Bloomberg Media, she said. For example, GM is a “premier partner” for Bloomberg Green (one of the sponsorship tier packages Bloomberg sells to advertisers; Bloomberg did not reveal pricing for these packages), and is now expanding to sponsor upcoming activations around COP26. Other Green campaigns and partners have extended to other Bloomberg verticals like Bloomberg CityLab, Bloomberg Wealth and …read more

Source:: Digiday