Embrace Discomfort. Stand Together. Create Change.

 

For many people, the impact of the murders of Rayshad Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the subsequent protests might feel like a new awakening is occurring. But this is an awakening built on years of inequality – it’s much more than these four names. It’s because of Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, and countless others. We’ve reached a defining moment in our collective human history and in our own individual stories to take action towards lasting change.

This is magnified watching the tens of thousands of people from the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, and other nations who have stood together — even in the wake of a global pandemic — to support the U.S. protests, while condemning racism in their own countries.

The outcry and momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement created a wave of Criteos asking questions, sharing their own stories, embracing each other, and wanting to do something. It was clear through their voices, that as a company, what we’ve done so far isn’t enough.

It’s uncomfortable for me to admit that I don’t always have all the answers, and I can’t fix this, but I don’t, and I can’t — not alone anyway. But as an OUT female CEO, the sincere concern that I saw from Criteo employees towards inequity and discrimination to all diverse and persecuted communities left me speechless. It gave me such hope that I don’t need to have all the answers – because collectively and through unity, they will come.

Think globally, act locally. That’s what we’re doing. By bringing Criteo employees together to have difficult discussions and share ideas to better ourselves and our organization, that’s a starting place. We’re also providing education, as well as better support for our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) employees, reducing unconscious bias, and partnering with organizations who are helping to right the wrongs of racial injustice. We know that for this to be a permanent shift, it will take daily commitment on a macro and individual level. That way we are enabling our employees to start that change within themselves with educational resources, training, and ongoing awareness.

Looking inside our organization, the leadership team and I realize we have a long way to go. Across the company, we need to analyze where we stand, starting with the need for more diversity across the top layers of our company. I recognize that this sounds easier than it is – but it starts with diverse slates, and it must start – or it won’t happen.

In the short term, we encourage others to join us in donating to organizations for change such as the NAACP, as well as matching employees’ donations for an act of unity and impact. Furthermore, we’ve established support groups and are building a BIPOC employee resource group to help continue conversations on race and take action throughout the year.

Additionally, we plan to leverage our unique capabilities as an advertising company for positive change. We’re working to activate pro bono marketing campaigns for non-profit organizations who are leading anti-racism initiatives, raising funds, and driving the Black Lives Matter movement forward.

We’re also proud to see our clients taking a stand and using their voices and platform to make change. We want to help our clients share the messages that are important to them on websites that further a world of education, acceptance, and equality. That’s why we regularly review our relationships with suppliers to ensure that we do not support the display of ads on content that promotes harassment or hate speech of any kind. If we’re informed that a publisher has displayed racist or hateful content, we end the relationship with them immediately.

As a company, we recognize ourselves as a family. We’ve been jolted, as the world has, by an awakening to discrimination and persecution of diverse communities. We embrace BIPOC communities all over the world. We cry for them. We sit up and pay more attention than ever before to the injustices put on people everywhere. The answer that I do have right now, and one that is shared across Criteo is to please, just show kindness, show empathy, and give the gift of hope.

As we stand together, we welcome input and feedback from our clients and partners on ways to ensure lasting and meaningful change. I will continue to put words into action and lead the organization by example. Criteo cares.

Megan Clarken

Megan Clarken is Criteo's Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Megan held numerous senior positions at Nielsen in both commercial and product leadership, including Chief Commercial Officer of Nielsen Global Media, President of Watch, Nielsen’s Media Measurement services, and President of Product Leadership. Prior to Nielsen, she held senior leadership positions for large publishers and online technology providers, including Akamai Technologies and ninemsn in Australia.