Good news for wildlife: IFAW recognised as Top 20 Brand in China

IFAW ads in clubs, subways At the end of 2014, when I wrote about Chinese cultural icons joining the IFAW campaign to stigmatize wildlife consumption, I certainly didn’t expect that the media blitz generated by the campaign would push an animal welfare charity onto the Top 20 Brands list in China.

China Outdoor Data Corporation (CODC), a company in Beijing focusing on analyzing market trends of the advertising industry and brand awareness, recently released their report covering all outdoor media, in which the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has ascended into the top 20 brands in China in 2015.

According to the CODC report, IFAW’s brand generated marketing value is between 600-700 million RMB, approximately $100-110 million USD. We are the only non-governmental organisation that made the list.

This is good news for wildlife because China is the largest consumer of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn, and tiger bone. IFAW’s public awareness campaigns focus on reducing consumer desire for these products, and thus, saving animal lives.

IFAW’s native Chinese staff have decades of experience working within the culture to highlight the value of compassion toward animals in a way that resonates with the Chinese audience. The result is a real impact for animals.

IFAW’s public awareness campaign “Mom, I have teeth” made tens of millions of people understand that ivory comes from killing elephants. In a short four years, the campaign penetrated 75% of urban China and successfully reduced the segment of Chinese population most likely to purchase ivory from 54 to 26 percent, according to an IFAW-commissioned survey by Rapid Asia.

IFAW’s intelligence lead to a Chinese government ban on the auction of elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger bone in 2011. The ban resulted in a 40 percent reduction of overall mainland auction sales in the following year.

IFAW has been working with e-commerce giant Alibaba and its Chinese subsidiary Taobao since 2007, encouraging companies to ban the online trade of elephant ivory, rhino horn, tiger bone, bear bile, pangolin scale and shark fin.  Inspired by Alibaba and Taobao, more Chinese online companies have taken a zero tolerance policy against online wildlife trade.

Since 2014, IFAW’s behavior change campaign to conserve wildlife attracted support from Chinese Key Opinion Leaders from all social sectors—from pop icons to leading artists, from business executives to movie stars—influencing their peers, friends, families, and fans. 

More than two dozen corporations such as media giant JCDecaux, Bailintimes, TOWONA and provided in-kind support to the campaign, which was part of the USAID - funded Asia Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) program and has now covered 80 percent of China.

Finally, we are seeing these attitude changes formalised in Chinese regulations and enforcement actions, such as the criminalisation of buying and consuming endangered animalshigh-profile destruction of confiscated ivory stockpiles, and the announcement that China and with the US would halt the commercial ivory trade.

We are thankful to IFAW donors all over the world, who have supported us in developing Chinese-led public education and behavior change campaigns that are making a real difference for animals!


Please donate to help us continue this critical work in China.

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Jimmiel Mandima at IFAW
Deputy Vice President of Conservation
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime