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Hennessy Has 'Unfinished Business' with Inequality During Global Crisis

Together with Droga5, the cognac brand establishes $3million small business recovery program providing immediate relief and long-term support to those hit hardest by Covid-19

Hennessy Has 'Unfinished Business' with Inequality During Global Crisis

Hennessy has announced 'Unfinished Business', a new program committed to help small businesses power through the immediate financial challenges of Covid-19 and ensure they have the resources needed to get back on their feet. Several communities are bearing a disproportionate share of the health and/or economic consequences of this global crisis and these are the communities this program is aimed at supporting.

Beginning in June, the platform will donate to support small business entrepreneurs, with a vision to continuously replenish funds so that this first donation is not the last. In addition to capital, the program will also provide access to information, educational content and other assets to help safeguard continuity during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

"Hennessy has always valued the spirit of resilience and this is what these small businesses represent. We do not want these pillars of community to succumb to the current global pandemic and are offering our support to help them continue pushing forward," said Laurent Boillot, chief executive officer, Hennessy.

Since March, Droga5 has been working hand-in-hand with Hennessy to design and build the end-to-end experience from initial strategy and conception to visual language to guide the mechanics of the program and UX of the application site. In response to Covid-19, it conceived the program to step up with support for Black, Latinx and Asian American entrepreneurs who were only beginning to bear a disproportionate amount of the health, emotional, and economic consequences of the pandemic - and at the time, cut out of receiving help from government relief and traditional banking institutions – knowing that rebuilding these businesses is vital to the vibrancy of the communities they serve and crucial to a more equitable recovery.

To contextualise the mission and encourage applicants, they teamed up NYC-based filmmaker Haley Anderson, whose work often explores race and the ever-growing class divide, to create the program’s accompanying film 'Unfinished Business'. Drawing on the history of resilience in these communities, the film’s narrative highlights the fighting spirit driving small businesses to persevere. 

Soundtracked by jazz pianist Julius Rodriguez, featuring artists from Brooklyn’s MOCADA gallery, the film captures stories of seven small-business owners of colour, speaking in their own words, about the challenges of the current moment, as well the long-standing, systemic issues this crisis has exacerbated. 

In order to provide immediate relief, Hennessy has enlisted three national organisations already working to support businesses in their respective communities. 'Unfinished Business' will provide funds to One Hundred Black Men, the Asian American Business Development Centre, and the Hispanic Federation to ensure support is distributed directly at the community-level among those who need it the most. "Built for community by community, 'Unfinished Business' is an extension of our legacy supporting multicultural consumers and underscores our 'Never stop. Never settle.' ethos", said Giles Woodyer, senior vice president, Hennessy US. "We want to do all that we can to help the small businesses survive the current crisis and pledge resources for the long term; as long as they have unfinished business to settle, so do we."

"Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on the nation's small business community, and in many cases 'Unfinished Business' will provide much needed support and assistance. The Founding Chapter of One Hundred Black Men applauds Hennessy for recognising that small businesses are the soul of America," stated Michael J. Garner, president, Founding Chapter, One Hundred Black Men of New York.

"Small businesses represent the economic hope and promise of Latino neighbourhoods. We are proud and grateful to join Hennessy in this groundbreaking effort to bring much-needed financial relief to businesses that are essential to restoring the economic well-being of our community," said Frankie Miranda, president, Hispanic Federation.

There will always be unfinished business – long after the quarantine is over, informing Hennessy's commitment to work with partners to sustain the program. In times of crisis and beyond, direct support won't just reach small business: it will also strengthen surrounding communities through employment, positive role modelling, and an inflow of economic and cultural vibrancy. "The Asian American Business Development Centre, along with the Hispanic Federation and One Hundred Black Men, is honoured to stand in solidarity with Hennessy to support small business," said John Wang, president, AABDC.

As part of 'Unfinished Business', Hennessy will offset the impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality industry with a pledge of $750,000 to an organisation in support of bartenders and hospitality workers. The 'Unfinished Business' program will launch in June.

Featured Companies: Wave Studios NY , Framestore - New York

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Client: Moët Hennessy North America

Campaign: Unfinished Business

Title: Unfinished Business

Chief Executive Officer: Seth Kaufman

Global Chief Marketing and Communications Officer: Michael Aidan

Chief Marketing Officer: Vanessa Kay

SVP, Hennessy USA: Giles Woodyer

VP, Consumer Engagement: Jacqueline Long

Digital Director: Seth Zaharako


Agency: Droga5 NY

Creative Chairman: David Droga

Global Chief Creative Officer: Neil Heymann

Co-Chief Creative Officers: Tim Gordon and Felix Richter

Global Head of Art: Alexander Nowak

Creative Director: Thom Glover

Senior Copywriter: Ted Meyer

Senior Art Director: Jason Gold

Group Creative Director: Dan Kelly

Associate Creative Director: Joel Francke

Senior Copywriter: Craig Gerringer

Group Experience Design Director: Craig Wong

Executive Design Director: Rich Greco

Associate Design Director: Jen Lally

Experience Designer: Owen DiRienz

Designer: Adrian Koenigsberg

Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale

Director of Film Production: Jesse Brihn

Associate Director of Film Production: Ruben Mercadal

Senior Producer, Film: Forrest Holt

Associate Producer, Film: Connor Hagan

Senior Music Supervisor: Mike Ladman

Director of Innovation: Justin Durazzo

Senior Producer, Interactive: Ian Graetzer

Director of Art Production: Cliff Lewis

Associate Director, Art Production: Bianca Escobar

Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer

Head of Strategy: Harry Román-Torres

Strategy Director: Drew Simel

Brand Strategist: Justin Clagette

Head of Communications Strategy: Dean Challis

Group Comms Strategy Director: Delphine Mckinley

Senior Communications Strategist: Mariel Miller

Group Data Strategy Director: Christina Fieni

Data Strategist: Greg Berard

Chief Operating Officer: Susie Nam

Group Account Director: Lindsay Cole

Account Director: Marissa Guerra and Jordan Cappadocia

Account Supervisor: Mosito Ramaili

Associate Account Manager: Vanessa Foinquinos

Project Manager: Danielle Gibbons

Director of Business Affairs: Dan Simonetti

Senior Business Affairs Manager: Anne Marie Turbitt


Production Company: Second Child

Managing Director: Scott Chinn

Director: Haley Anderson (represented globally by Pulse Films)

DOP: Jomo Fray

Producer: Chelsea Greenwood

Photographer: Paul McGeiver


Editorial: The Quarry

Editor: Jonnie Scarlett

Assistant Editor: Jack Moore

Executive Producer: Tor Adams

Post Production

Post Production: Framestore

Producer: Henio Henning

Producer (Colour): Chris Anthony

Colourist: Simon Bourne


Music: Orbital Music and Sound

Composer: Julius Rodriguez

Sound: Wave Studios

Sound Design and Mix: Aaron Reynolds

Category: Alcoholic Beverages , Liqueur