Mars, Incorporated is a business driven by its purpose: ‘The world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today’. It’s a belief that guides every single part of the organisation, from how it sources its ingredients through to the marketing of its brands, products, and services.
A family-owned company, Mars Incorporated operates in over 80 countries and across many categories from veterinary services and pet food, to chewing gum and treats, to rice and sauces with some famous household brands such as Pedigree®, Royal Canin®, M&M’s®, Snickers®, Extra® and Ben’s Original™. As one of the top 10 advertising spenders globally, the company strives to ensure the marketing of its brands is as diverse as the world they’re enjoyed in.
Having joined the Unstereotype Alliance as a founding signatory in 2017, Mars is delighted to be appointed as a Vice Chair of the Alliance and will continue to fight against stereotyping in marketing to create a world where society is inclusive. As Vice Chair, Mars will aim to get more marketers involved in the Alliance and help set the agenda for the next two to three years. There has been huge progress over the last four years, however Mars recognizes there is a long way to go in representing people from all intersections of society.
Through its marketing, Mars is taking action to help shape an inclusive society where people of ALL diversities feel recognized, accepted and equal. Some examples include:
- Mars strives to eliminate unconscious bias in marketing and agency teams by using best in class tools such as the Unstereotype Alliance’s 3Ps framework and the WFA’s Diversity & Representation: A Guide to Potential Areas for Bias in the Creative Process
- In partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Mars annually audits the representation of characters across its brand advertising to identify where they can improve performance over time.
- The company mandates that all agency bids must be triple bid, including at least one director from underrepresented groups.
Mars also activates its brands to promote an inclusive and diverse society:
- In China, Dove Chocolate crowdsourced talented women for all the key creative roles in the production of its ‘Put Pleasure First’ short film, from director to camera to sound, lighting and more.
- In the U.K., Maltesers is bringing attention to the real spectrum of emotions mums experience to promote maternal mental health.
In November 2020, Mars launched a platform called ‘Full Potential’ to close the gender gap in its places of work, the communities where its ingredients are sourced, and in the ways its advertising is created. The company has committed to gender-balanced leadership teams, equal pay and flexible working across the global organization, and has signed the Empower Pledge to support women’s advancement in leadership positions across G20 countries and UN Women’s Empowerment Principles. This included a crowdsourcing initiative in January called #HereToBeHeard to elevate voices of women from all intersections to help shape a more inclusive society. The responses are currently being analysed by the Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and a report will be launched in the Summer.
- Last year, Ben’s Original announced its name evolution and commitment to create career opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table.
How can you get involved in #HereToBeHeard?
- Add your email address here to be kept up to date with the research findings launching this Summer.
- Watch and share the launch film here