Vineet Mehra

FairShare’s Eamonn Store

FairShare’s Eamonn Store

Purposeful Marketing


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Trendsetters: FairShare's Eamonn Store Looks at a Future Ad Agency Model with an Eye toward Purpose

Eamonn Store believes that we're operating at a fascinating time in advertising right now. Yet we are heading toward a true sea change in understanding issues of valuation and values.

He says, "Media agencies are under scrutiny for lack of transparency on a grand scale. Advertising agencies are facing accusations for over-inflated production costs. The entire industry is in flux as social media stars drive more traffic and attention than the prime-time television. The "big four" business consultants with their data analytics strengths have made robust progress in their competition for full-service agency assignments.  Marketers are trying to balance all these issues with the changing needs of their customer base, while figuring how to best position their brands across multiple platforms in a rapidly-changing world. It's enough to make your head spin."

Despite this time of disruption with its concerns of transparency and brand safety, Eamonn Store believes that corporate leaders at progressive companies across many different industry sectors have something in common: They are all working very hard to understand and articulate the purpose their business delivers for society and the planet.

"At the highest level," he says, "all these companies—from banking to clothing to food and drink-- share the same premise that corporate purpose is no longer a nice CSR program executed in some peripheral sense.  They know that their customers, clients and partners are increasingly looking at the products and services they deliver for a broader sense of good.  Consumer consideration, purchase behavior and loyalty are increasingly determined by how products and services are made, who makes them, from where they are sourced and the impact they have on society and our planet.  These critical concerns are now becoming fundamental differentiators between good and bad business practice."

So, how can this relate to the current advertising industry issues and the role of agencies?

According to Store, most senior client leaders still see the role of media agencies as primarily executional. He adds, "Beyond award-obsessed pro-bono efforts, our industry is not exactly endowed with inspiring values. Valuation, particularly among agency holding groups, still trumps values."

As a result, he feels that most media agencies have yet to earn their seat at the top table with their most senior clients.  However, he cites Accenture, a consultancy that delivers clear and coherent programs in support of a better society, as having well-established seats at the marketing leadership tables.   He says, "They deserve those seats for the same reason they deserve their strong rankings in high-profile cause rankings like the Fortune Change the World Index. Show me an agency holding group in any truly credible Top 100 cause rankings? The large agency holding companies have no robust credibility in this space"

Eamonn Store concludes that in a changing world with a young, but fast-evolving, purpose economy, successful agency groups of the future will have Chief Purpose Officers in prominent leadership roles. These officers will be tasked with better balancing values with valuation—on every level. They will embed genuine cause within the agencies that not only builds purpose that retains valuable employees (finally reducing shocking employee retention rates), but unleashes amazing creative talent to engage more meaningfully with senior corporate leaders and the not-for-profit world.

He sees Chief Purpose Officers as having a critical internal role to re-imagine key areas of institutionalized internal behavior — re-imagine healthcare programs that so that put the weight of holding company investment to better use in a young and healthy industry, ethical 401k plans as the standard defaults, higher standards for better de-stigmatized and measured mental health and wellness programs. Externally Store longs to see leading agencies set more stringent quality thresholds for conference attendance and speaking engagements, so we force the over-scheduled and over-profitable conferencing industry to hold higher standards of diversity and inclusion.

He emphasizes, "If we can  improve the standards we set for both our inward and outward business behavior, we will quickly see the power of our creative energies focus on building more genuine, authentic and enduring partnerships with corporate and non-profit partners. Where we can really make a difference in society is to help move the dial on an ocean of passive ‘slacktivist' digital behaviors such as looks, likes, claps and shares to build measurable brand partnerships that create better physical outcomes—for society and for our planet.

Eamonn Stores sees this change already being led by the smaller independents agencies, driven by mission-led founders—companies like the Chapter, True North, and Attn.  He believes it will grow through the more entrepreneurial mainstream players, such as  MDC,  before this progressive trend hits the holding companies. For those that embrace his purpose philosophy, he envisions business growth through more fulfilling assignments, which will attract and retain the best talent to unleash powers of one of the world's most vibrant, exciting and creative industries and help reset the value of agencies and their related compensation within the minds of their most senior clients.

"For those that embrace and prioritize corporate purpose with passion and authenticity," he says, "the future is bright and full of promise."




Throughout the last 29 years, Eamonn Store has worked for a combination of global media networks and digital start-ups, widely respected for his ability to simplify the complex with an infectious ability to bring teams along with him on those missions that capture his imagination. As a committed internationalist with a strong passion for exploring different geographies and cultures, Eamonn has travelled over 80 countries through his professional career.

In 2014, Eamonn finally left his MEC family of 10 years to lead The Guardian as CEO, North America. During his almost three-year tenure, the Guardian tripled its audience and commercial revenues in North America. More importantly, he crafted an editorial led business strategy, focused on attracting client partners who's values and practices married with those editorial values of this fiercely independent 200-year-old news brand.

It was during his tenure at the Guardian that Eamonn drew inspiration from his many connections with individuals and NGOs passionately working for greater good. This inspiration led him to depart the Guardian in January 2017 to build a practice to help better connect leaders of progressive business with those who do good for the world.

This practice is called FairShare. It's as much a passion as a practice.