How Wieden+Kennedy became the first B Corp ad agency network

Part of a move towards creating a more sustainable business, CR speaks to the company about the challenges that come with achieving certification and how it’s adapting its practices

A year after B Lab began certifying B Corporations in 2006, 82 companies had been certified. Sixteen years later, around 6,000 companies across 80 countries and in 150 different industries hold the certification. 

More and more creative companies have been joining the movement as a way to analyse their practices, track their output, and overall do better. But last month marked a new first in the industry with Wieden+Kennedy becoming the first global ad agency network to achieve certification, which includes nine offices (eventually ten), and 1,500 employees across seven countries. 

The journey started when Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam became B Corp certified in 2021. It was the agency’s work with Ben & Jerry’s (which became a B Corp in 2012) via the Tokyo office that sparked the interest of Blake Harrop, president of W+K Amsterdam. “The more I learned about the B Corp movement, the more I realised it actually coincided with a lot of W+K’s values,” he tells CR. “So back in 2020 when we had some time between clients, we decided to look into the process. After we were certified, our global colleagues were really curious about the movement.”