The Lion’s Share – a simple way to make a powerful difference for animals, wildlife and habitats

June 21, 2018


Have you noticed how often animals appear in ads?

Every year, brands use images of animals in their advertising and marketing to make billions of dollars in revenue. Animals feature in 20 percent of all ads we see. Yet animals get nothing in return. At the same time, a new ground-breaking study shows that humanity has caused the loss of 83 percent of all wild animals. It is high time to ‘pay back’ animals in ads, along with creating new momentum for conservation.

That’s where The Lion’s Share comes in.

What is The Lion’s Share?

The Lion’s Share initiative is a unique way of raising much-needed funds to help wildlife and animals everywhere by asking companies to contribute 0.5 percent of their advertisement media buy that uses an image of an animal in adverts – the same amount as people are paid.

How does it work?

Each time an animal appears in advertising, the company responsible will contribution to The Lion’s Share Fund hosted by UNDP. A board with leading conservationists and NGOs, companies, media agencies, the United Nations family, among others, will in turn ensure that those funds are invested in initiatives and programmes that benefit animal welfare, conservation and wildlife environments worldwide. In return, companies that sign up can use The Lion’s Share logo on their products – a certification similar to fair trade labels.

Why a possible game changer?

The idea of The Lion’s Share comes from the media world. It was created by Australian advertising company Finch. Along with partners, Finch approached the UN to help them create a global movement of behavioural change for wildlife conservation and animal welfare. In such a simple, yet brilliant way The Lion’s Share seeks to change advertisement as we know it: for the first time in history, animals will be recognized for their role in advertising. This leadership and new financing by the private sector is inspiring. At UNDP, we hope the Lion’s Share can be a flagship initiative on private sector engagement for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals by year 2030.

As far as we are aware, nothing like the Lion’s Share has been attempted before. And, there is a huge potential to expand this idea beyond the world of advertising.

UNDP along with the founding partners – Finch, Mars Incorporated, BBDO and Nielsen – is launching this unique and innovative initiative at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which is the annual global event of the advertisement world.

In the years to come, we hope that people around the world will recognize The Lion’s Share logo and know its meaning – the global movement that helps secure healthy wildlife populations and instil compassion for all animals everywhere.