L’Officiel wants to put the value of high-end media to work for charitable causes.
The independent French publisher is starting a new content hub called the Sharing Fund dedicated to “cause-related content” supported by brands and advertisers and is donating $60 million worth of dedicated media coverage over the next two years, online and in print, to the project. The content will live as its own category under the main L’Officiel sites operated in 30 countries, with the ultimate goal being an elevation of campaigns and stories supporting various charities and causes that advertisers work with and support, but often get limited or infrequent coverage.
Benjamin Eymere, chief executive officer and a member of the Jalou family that has owned and operated L’Officiel since the Fifties, said the idea came about only a few weeks ago as the company started to look into its own initiatives around corporate social responsibility.
“We quickly realized that our biggest and most valuable gift was our global media network of more than 20 million [readers] around the world and the exposure that could afford so many organizations doing great work on issues like the environment, poverty and equality,” Eymere said.
While it may sound self-serving to be a media company that’s simply “giving away” media coverage, Eymere pointed out that not only is the $60 million valuation being put on the giveaway a highly discounted number, essentially a wholesale rate, but that a guarantee of high-quality coverage, designed and executed by editors and writers working with the magazine’s 30 national editions, including in France, Italy, Germany, China, Mexico and recently the U.S., is valuable for charities that often struggle to get any publicity.
The Sharing Fund will officially launch on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day for most of the Western world, and L’Officiel will be dedicating all of its platforms and social channels for the day to start a #SharingChallenge, asking readers and partners to promote their charitable causes online.
“By sharing our media network and community reach with these causes and organizations, we will help them raise awareness so they have the resources they need to do the good work they set out to do,” Eymere added.
In practical terms, the dedicated media coverage will be part of a brand’s ad buy, if they choose to include it, and the amount of dedicated coverage will depend on the amount L’Officiel commits to coverage of a selected cause. Digital, social and print coverage can be on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and will happen across international issues of the magazine.
Similar to the recent launch of its own virtual currency enterprise, the Sharing Fund is creating a sort of money loop beneficial in some ways to all involved, but this time the ultimate beneficiary should be charities.
“The ability to give is the ultimate luxury,” Eymere said, “and L’Officiel, along with our luxury brand partners and our audience, are fortunate to be in a position to give back.”
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