The third quarter of 2020 saw more asset managers than ever advertising their ESG credentials, according to data from Fundamental Media.
The number of asset managers advertising their ESG credentials has risen from 29 in Q2 to 34 in Q3 of 2020. The increase comes as earlier research by Fundamental Media has found that posts on ESG receive high levels of engagement on social media.
While the total number of impressions for ESG advertisements dropped from 11 million in Q1 to 9.9 million in Q3, the percentage of ESG advertising seen has risen from 9% to 12%.
The top ten of biggest ESG advertisers has shifted drastically since the first half of the year. During the first six months of 2020 UBS Asset Management was the largest ESG advertiser, but the Swiss asset manager fell out of the top ten during Q3. In fact, the only asset managers who were in the top ten in both the first half of the year and the third quarter are iShares and Pictet Asset Management.
Just like in Q2, most ESG advertising (58% of the total volume) was dedicated to the promotion of thought leadership pieces. A further 28% of advertising was dedicated to the promotion of specific ESG funds while just 11% of ESG advertising was brand promotion. There were a small number of promotions from a handful of advertisers for events, and one asset manager (iShares) promoted a new online tool which will enable users to easily examine the ESG credentials of different fund offerings.
The UK saw the highest number of advertisers, as 15 asset managers were running their ESG campaigns there. A total of 12 advertisers were active in Spain, 11 each in France and Germany, 10 in the Netherlands and 9 in Italy. Of the 14 European countries covered by Monitor only Belgium, Luxembourg and Norway saw no ESG advertising during Q3.
For many of the advertisers the promotion of ESG is not the mainstay of their campaigning. On average, the 34 advertisers dedicated 22% of their advertising activity to ESG. For nearly half of the companies 15% or less of the total advertising volume seen has been in the area of ESG.
However, several others see ESG advertising as the best way to promote themselves. For ten advertisers, 85% or more of the promotional activity seen was in this area, while for several asset managers (Kempen Capital Management, LGIM, Nordea, Candriam, Metzler and Calvert) all their advertising activity was ESG oriented during the last quarter.
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