Global Reporting Initiative Reports
Mechanisms for Advice and Concerns about Ethics
If violations of IPG's ethical standards are suspected, we strongly encourage all IPG employees, contractors, suppliers, clients, business partners, as well as all other stakeholders, to utilize our publicly available grievance mechanisms.
Interpublic Group (IPG) seeks to engage employees, suppliers, consultants, freelancers, and other business partners who share our values and ethical standards, and who uphold this commitment in the work they do for IPG. Acceptable behavior and actions are described in our Code of Conduct and Supplier Code of Conduct both of which can be viewed here.
IPG will not tolerate violations of our ethical standards. If violations to these standards are suspected, we strongly encourage all IPG employees, contractors, suppliers, clients, business partners, as well as all other stakeholders, to utilize our publicly available grievance mechanisms. As a matter of policy, there will be no retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, complains of or opposes unlawful ethical violations, or who participates in any investigation. Reports can be made anonymously where allowed by local law. The identity will not be revealed of anyone who makes a good faith allegation and requests anonymity or confidentiality.
Individuals are asked to report any suspected violations of laws, regulations and company policy immediately. In accordance with IPG policy and local laws, reports can be made by contacting our Alertline at 1-800-828-0896 (if located in the United States) or through the Alertline portal, found here, regardless of location. Alertline is a third-party, independently operated hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in more than 40 languages.
Reports to the Alertline address topics such as employee relations issues, workplace safety and potential conflicts of interest. Reports are investigated, appropriate actions are taken, and cases are closed in the database.
Additionally, IPG provides employees with several other means to express concerns about their work environments and seek advice about ethical and lawful behavior. As described in our Code of Conduct, IPG employees may report concerns to: their direct managers, local and corporate Human Resources departments, the Legal department, or to our Chief Risk Officer.
If requested, employees are expected to participate in an investigation of a report. Those who file a concern may receive follow-up information about the outcome of such an investigation, as allowed by local law.
IPG takes every single report seriously. All reports are investigated promptly and thoroughly. Appropriate corrective or disciplinary action is applied whenever necessary.
To inform individuals about these ethics resources, IPG has dedicated internal and publicly available corporate policies providing detail on acceptable behavior, and how to report concerns through the various mechanisms described above. Publicly available policies can be viewed here.
Employees are made aware of these mechanisms and relevant policies upon hire and every year thereafter in the annual course on the IPG Code of Conduct and through regular internal communications. For example, a 2020 CEO memo to all employees pointed employees to the Alertline in the context of avoiding pressure to return to the office after working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, there are posters describing the Alertline at each IPG office location.
In addition to these mechanisms created specifically to handle grievances and provide advice on ethical and legal matters, IPG employees can raise ethical concerns or needs for advice through our annual employee survey assessing IPG’s climate for inclusion. While the survey is conducted by a third party, IPG’s Chief Talent Officer and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer review summaries of responses to identify any common concerns. Trends that emerge through the survey provide an overview of employees’ comfort with responding to ethical matters.