As one of the top 10 global ad spenders and home to classic U.S. chocolate brands, Mars has been creating iconic ads for decades, from Snickers’ You’re Not You When You’re Hungry campaign, to Skittles Taste The Rainbow tagline, to your long-standing favorite characters from M&M’s. Sarah Long joined the company in June 2020, in the midst of the global pandemic, and kept that tradition strong.
With a background in alcohol marketing at Diageo, Molson Coors and Rémy Cointreau, Long knows how to market mass consumer brands. This year, she brought M&M’s to the Super Bowl with an uber-relevant Zoom tie-in. But Mars isn’t perfect. The company got caught in the crosshairs of a consumer pushback against racist and insensitive logos this past year, pushing the company to change the name of its Uncle Ben’s rice brand to Ben’s Original, and remove the image of a Black man on its logo, which received backlash for perpetuating racist stereotypes.
Mars is going a step further in trying to eradicate harmful stereotypes in advertising by becoming vice chair of the Unstereotype Alliance in April, an initiative it cofounded with Unilever and UN Women in 2017. Mars audits every ad it runs in every country to ensure the creative achieves gender and racial balance. The company also holds its agencies accountable to diversity targets and uses a triple bid process to ensure at least one minority-owned agency is considered for any project.