Givsly kicks off “Season Without Swag” to reduce ad agency waste

The campaign offers agencies a sustainable alternative to give back this holiday season.

Givsly, which partners with ad agencies to donate to charitable causes, has begun its second annual “Season Without Swag” campaign to kick off this holiday season. 

The effort began last holiday season to encourage agencies to decline gifts from sponsors in favor of making a donation to charity on its behalf. “Season Without Swag” was inspired by feedback from agencies and their clients that company-branded gifts were going unused, said Chad Hickey, founder and CEO at Givsly. 

“It's not that swag is bad, but there are moments when swag is not needed or it's duplicative and people don't use it,” Hickey said. “So instead of sending the typical holiday gift of branded swag like we normally do, we want to make a donation instead.” 

To encourage donations, Givsly is hosting a competition for agencies that donate on the dedicated microsite. Those who have committed to the cause, including Mindshare, Brainlabs, Dentsu, Hearts & Science, Initiative, m/Six, Mediahub, OMD and PHD, can track their progress on a dashboard to compete for the most donations..

Winners will receive prizes including business meetings with top ad agency executives, a donation made in their name, or a “make-your-own prize” option. The competition is sponsored by Fox, Big Happy, Cardlytics, Dish Media, Facebook, Group Nine Media, Hearst Magazines, Mobilefuse, NBCUniversal, Taboola, Tivo, and Undertone, among others.

“We want to bring back some of the culture that I think has been missing in our industry with everyone displaced,” Hickey said. “We want to create digital, interactive opportunities, so that people can have some friendly competition and hopefully get excited about giving back.” 

Givsly has set a donation goal of $500,000 and will be updating the tracker throughout Q4. 

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