‘Advertisers using animals should pay for conservation’ – David Attenborough

Companies who sign up to The Lion’s Share scheme will donate a percentage of their advertising spend to conservation and animal welfare projects

Companies who sign up to The Lion’s Share scheme will donate a percentage of their advertising spend to conservation and animal welfare projects

Wildlife presenter David Attenborough is urging advertisers to donate to conservation and animal welfare projects when their ads feature animals. He is backing a new initiative called The Lion’s Share which will see partners contribute 0.5 per cent of their spend to the fund for each advertisement they use that features an animal.

“Animals are in 20 per cent of all advertisements we see. Yet, they do not always receive the support they deserve. Until now,” said Attenborough. “The Lion’s Share shows that by making a small difference today, we have an opportunity to make an unprecedented difference tomorrow.”

The Lion’s Share is an idea that is as innovative as it is simple, and which will make a real impact on the future of animals, their habitats and our planet

The fund, which will be hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), hopes to raise $100m (£75m) within three years. The first advertiser to come on board, as a founding partner, is Mars – the US global manufacturer of confectionery and other food products.

“Wildlife and their habitats are in crisis right now. We are losing species at an unprecedented rate, estimated to be 1,000 times the natural extinction rate. The Lion’s Share is an idea that is as innovative as it is simple, and which will make a real impact on the future of animals, their habitats and our planet,” said UNDP administrator Achim Steiner.

Image: UNDP

The scheme was launched at the Cannes Lions festival, the annual advertising industry event, by Collettee Ngobeni of the Black Mambas, a female anti-poaching group based in South Africa.

Ngobeni said: “The Lion’s Share is a very exciting initiative because it has huge potential to help grassroots conservation work just like ours. We are working hard every day to prevent poaching and support some of the world’s most endangered species and look forward to being backed by The Lion’s Share.”

Featured image: Jason Charles Hill

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