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The Genuine Index: Sky give away free advertising space for sustainability


For the third year in a row, Sky has launched its Footprint Fund competition, ostensibly with the purpose of helping sustainable businesses thrive. To enter the competition, brands submit their idea for a creative, snappy, engaging TV advert focused on sustainability, with the top four winners receiving £250,000 worth of free advertising value, and the first-place winner taking home £1 million of ad space. The judging panel includes business experts and founders from a handful of companies, and this year, the public are involved in voting as well.


Theoretically, the campaign sounded fantastic, but our panel dove deeper to see whether it lived up to the hype.

The idea is Sky giving smaller businesses the budget and platform to shout about their company is helping to save the planet. But when searching for coverage of last year’s winners, our team failed to find much evidence of the PR and advertising support Sky promised the smaller winning companies. We hoped to see more signs of Sky helping these brands get off their feet and launch their sustainability goals beyond just 30 seconds on Sky TV.

It's impossible for Sky to organise the campaign without splashing their name across all messaging, but our panel were somewhat wary that the competition may have ended up as more of a lead generation tool than a true ESR initiative. It’s still unclear to us exactly how far £1 million of advertising space can help a smaller company follow through with its ideas, and how much a short TV advert will spark conversations around goals for a greener advertising scene.

We look forward to keeping up with this year’s entries and winners and tracking their progress as leaders in sustainable advertising.

Score*: 1.6

The Genuine Index Series 2 - 2023

Arsenal’s No More Red = 7.33

People Like Us Are Working = 6.7

Peugeot’s Girls Like Cars Too = -3.5

Trainline’s Waterloo takeover = 1.8

Sky's Footprint Fund = 1.6

* -10.0 (Total BS & Corporate Wash) - 10.0 (Totally Genuine).

Our scores are an average of individual panel members’ individual scores.


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