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We’re delighted to introduce this week’s guest Laura Chase, Chief Commercial Officer at WeAre8, a digital ecosystem built to transform the $800 bn digital ad market by putting people, Publishers and our planet at the heart of the economics.

Laura leads the WeAre8 commercial team, playing an integral role in launching and growing the platform in the UK. As part of this, she has developed partnerships with all major agency networks and created WeAre8’s Publisher partnership framework, onboarding PinkNews, Hello! and The Independent.

Prior to WeAre8, Laura spearheaded Hearst’s social responsibility and sustainability offerings and lead the creative solutions and experiential team. Laura has experience leading high performing sales, partnerships & content teams and is deeply committed to transforming the ad industry by putting people and the planet first.

Q. Tell me about what WeAre8 is doing currently that relates to ESG and sustainability.

A. Our whole business is built with ESG in mind. Sue Fennessy, our inspirational Founder and CEO, wanted to address the negative societal and environmental impacts social media and digital advertising has created across the world, all whilst offering brands a more effective, transparent and waste free ad model.

At the heart of our ecosystem is our hate free social app.  WeAre8’s first-in-market verification process enables us to eliminate hateful and harmful content giving our citizens a premium, elevated and inspiring feed that leaves them feeling positive.  When people choose to watch ads on WeAre8, 60% of every £1 or $1 that comes into our business is given back to people, charities and the planet.

Our ad model is a far more sustainable choice for brands.  Because people consciously and intentionally choose to watch each and every ad, we are able to completely eliminate e-waste.  WeAre8 also invests in climate solutions, in partnership with Ecologi, helping projects in the world’s hardest hit areas every time an ad is viewed.


Q. In terms of your advertising portfolio, it must be a no brainer for Charities but are you finding that the big corporates are also very interested, or others in-between?

A. Yes – it’s a real mix. We’ve worked with some of the world’s biggest brands over the past couple of years including Unilever, McDonalds, Nike, Nestle, Mars, eBay, Mondelez, Heineken, Audi. It is great that so many brands are focused on improving their ESG impact and spending their budget somewhere more meaningful. The important thing that we always remind brands and agencies is that with WeAre8, you don’t need to compromise on performance to make positive impact. With every campaign on the app brands will get 67X more attention than on Instagram and can expect to see CTR’s of around 5%.

We should be a BAU partner and all of the positive impact that happens behind the scenes supports brands in delivering against the corporate ESG goals.


Q. Are advertisers and agencies leaning forward on this area collaboratively, do you think one is pushing more than the other?

A. Some (brilliant) clients really lean in and others are driven by their agency. There’s a lot of positive intent across the industry, but we all do need to come together more to force the change we want and need to see.

Everyone – clients, agencies and media owners can and absolutely should be doing more and pushing each other.  Progress over perfection.

We should also be sharing and celebrating new innovations, best practice and brilliant people more.


Q. Are there any brands you see implementing a robust strategy in this space and if so, what are they doing?

A. One client that we work with who really stands out for me is giffgaff. There is an amazing team over there who are deeply committed to collaborating, learning and improving. More generally, brands such as Vinted, eBay, Backmarket are inspiring others through their concepts and are important in driving change and the circular economy.


Q. Outside of the brands themselves, are there any other people/partners/companies who are inspiring you?

A. Scope 3 is excellent. It works tirelessly to help agencies and brands make better media choices – offering new tools and services to improve the industry.

I also want to shout out to someone in my team at WeAre8, Jess Stead. Jess is still fairly early on in her career, but she is deeply committed to her own knowledge and how she can do her bit to contribute towards positive ESG change within her work. She does a lot of it off her own back. We need people like this coming through.


Q. What do you think will be the focus of the industry in 2024 with regards to an ESG agenda?

A. Reducing and eliminating fraud and e-waste is critical. The internet is now worse for the environment than air travel. Brands and agencies should all be focusing attention on how they do more with less. From a wider ESG perspective also mental health, kindness and supporting each other is key for brands to consider. Not just how we show up, but where we show up. We need to think about how we can make media as an industry healthier for humanity.

There’s lots of positive things happening already which gives me hope.  We just need much more of it.


Q. If you were Queen for the day what ESG policy would you decree?

A. More than one (sorry)…

  1. Enforce the criminalisation of hateful and harmful content
  2. More reward and recognition for the businesses and people doing the best work in the sustainability space. We should make them all feel like absolute heroes so future generations are inspired to take a cleaner, greener more planet friendly path.


About WeAre8

WeAre8 is all about making a BIG impact on the world through small daily actions. People can get paid and change the world every time they watch an ad with WeAre8 – either in app or with our premium publisher partners on the open web.

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