ESG ad volume in North America is consistently much lower than in Europe and Asia Pacific
ESG has a smaller footprint in North America compared to Europe and Asia Pacific, with Q1 2021 seeing the lowest volume dedicated to ESG of any quarter in the last two years, data from Fundamental Monitor shows.
No quarter since the beginning of 2019 saw more than 5% of all ad volume in North America touching on ESG. The last quarter was no exception: just 1% of the total ad volume (2.2 million out of 221.7 million impressions) looked at ESG during Q1 2021. This is compared to 19.4 million impressions in Asia Pacific (27% of total advertising) and 4.6 million impressions in Europe (10% of total ad volume).
Only eight out of 64 asset managers who were advertising in North America last quarter ran campaigns with an ESG message. Of those eight, ESG messaging constituted 14% of their total ad volume seen.
Three advertisers – RBC Global Asset Management, Aviva Investors and Calvert – only advertised ESG, but the latter two only with very small volumes.
All ESG advertisers, with the exception of RBC, were active in the USA. RBC and Clearbridge were seen in Canada.
Brand advertising accounted for 18% of ESG campaigns in North America, insights 12% and fund promotion 70%. Global X Funds, who had the highest ESG volume (over 1.5 million impressions) only promoted an ESG ETF.
With so few of North American advertisers focusing on ESG, there is clearly an opportunity for asset managers who want to be associated with the ESG theme to stand out and have a sufficient share of voice.
U.S. investors’ interest in ESG has been steadily growing. Research by Morningstar found that the global assets in ESG-focused index funds have doubled over the past three years with 534 index funds focused on sustainability overseeing a combined $250 billion in assets at the end of the second quarter of 2020. While the United States are not as far ahead on ESG as Europe, U.S. assets in sustainable index funds have quadrupled in the last three years and now represent 20% of the total.
Furthermore, the new government under President Biden has re-joined the Paris Agreement and has committed itself in tackling climate change. We expect this will also influence legislation as well as the U.S. investment climate for sustainable investment strategies and funds.
All data comes from Fundamental Monitor, an innovative technology tool developed by Fundamental Media providing real-time insights into the advertising campaigns by asset managers across the globe