Mendoza School of Business

Annual ethics awards given for ads that ‘lift the spirit’

Published: November 3, 2011 / Author: Carol Elliott

An advertising campaign that
promotes a “pay it forward” philosophy and one that illustrates the crucial
need to educating adolescent girls in developing countries both recently won
2011 EthicMark® Awards. The annual awards recognize advertising that “uplifts
the human spirit and society.”

EthicMark® Awards, presented
recently at the yearly SRI in the
Rockies Conference
for investment professionals, is co-sponsored by the
University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, Ethical Markets LLC and
the World Business Academy.

The winning submission in the
for-profit category was “Responsibility: Doing the Right Thing,”
created for Liberty Mutual by Hill Holliday, an ad that
fosters discussion about what it means to do the right thing toward fellow
human beings.

In the not-for-profit category, “The Girl
Effect: The Clock is Ticking
,” created for Nike Foundation by Wieden +
Kennedy, for its potent message that “given the chance, 250 million adolescent
girls in developing countries can unleash the world’s greatest untapped
solution to poverty.”

“There is so much criticism of
advertising out there,” said Patrick E. Murphy, Notre Dame marketing professor
and co-chair of the awards presentation. “Since their inception in 2004,
EthicsMark® Awards have served to highlight the positive and powerful role that
advertising can play in educating consumers about important initiatives that
impact the human community, and empower them to find solutions to the pressing
needs of a global society.”

Additional media campaigns that won
honorable mention included: 

  • What is Moxy Vote?”
    a campaign to mobilize retail investors by simplifying and improving the
    proxy voting process;
  • The
    Lottery of Life
    ,” a campaign of Save the Children Sweden that asks the
    public to imagine being born in the shoes of someone less fortunate;
  • One percent story,”
    about a global movement of over 1300 companies that donate 1 percent of
    their sales to environmental organizations; and

The EthicMark® Award recognizes
socially responsible media campaigns by businesses, nonprofit organizations or
individuals, using either the traditional media — print, radio, and television —
or the new media— Internet, cable and wireless communications. Individuals and
organizations can nominate their own campaigns or those of others.

The criteria for a nomination
includes advertising that demonstrates an adherence to the highest ethical
standards; a respect for consumers as human beings, a support for a diversity
of cultural and religious values; the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, social
responsibility and environmental stewardship; and an intent to uplift the human
spirit and society.

Entries are judged by a panel of
academics, business executives and World Business Academy members. The
nominating process for the 2012 EthicMark® Awards will open in the spring.
Visit the EthicMark website or contact Deborah Coch,
Marketing Department assistant, at (574) 631-6072 or


Topics: Main