Skip to content

Three very different approaches to profit with purpose

24 May 2021

Change Makers was born out of the idea that businesses can be a force for good. But in a diverse corporate landscape, filled with different business models, priorities and influences, companies that believe in profit with purpose come in different forms. 

We’ve had the privilege of talking to many leaders behind such companies – here are some thoughts from just three of them offering insights from the very different worlds of advertising, insurance and grocery. 

Amy Williams – Good Loop 

Having started her career at Ogilvy, Williams founded Good Loop in 2016 – which rewards people for watching ads by getting the brand to donate to a good cause in return. 

The potential of advertising to make a difference. 

“There are ways that advertising can be negative but really advertising is just a tool that we can choose for good or bad. I would say there are two main ways that advertising can be a force for good. The first is by changing behaviour or by changing culture. When we advertise electric cars, when we show diverse faces on TV – there are there are places where our influence can really help society. 

“I also think advertising money can shape things in a positive way. There is $600 billion flowing through the pipes of media, so advertising is a huge consumer and its demand shapes things like the internet. It can be used to fund things like diverse journalism and important news coverage.”

Giving business the space to do better 

“Brand purpose should be coupled with accountability. But I think that perfection can be the enemy of progress and by holding businesses to unreasonable ethical standards, we make them afraid to take steps. If when they put their head above the parapet they get yelled off the stage, then they’re going to just stay in their lane and keep making money by shovelling palm oil into their products and by promoting white people and nothing will change. So creating a space where we can allow brands to see the business benefits of doing good is really important.”

Nigel Wilson – Legal & General 

Since he has been at the helm of insurance giant, Legal & General, Wilson has spoken about the creation of “inclusive capitalism” – which he aims to do by investing in long-term assets that benefit everyone – improving the lives of customers and creating value for shareholders.

 Investing in a better future 

“The world’s awash with liabilities – pension liabilities, climate change liabilities, insurance liabilities – and we don’t have enough assets to back them. So if we can create assets that back them rather than gilts or some very low yielding asset, we can