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Adland open letter calls for solidarity and action after the death of George Floyd

UK advertising and media leaders have published an open letter calling on the industry to address inequality and take action against racism following the tragic death of George Floyd.

More than 200 industry leaders have signed the letter, which pledges solidarity with black talent and proposes next steps to achieve greater equality within the creative sectors. 

The letter seeks advertising leaders to support talents of colour and to hold the industry accountable in 10 ways, including: calling out racism whenever it is encountered; making business leaders and boards accountable for driving representation; enabling employees to understand their privileges and biases; creating safe and inclusive spaces for open conversations about racism; and checking in with black employees. 

"As a creative sector, what we do and who we represent has a profound impact on culture, yet systemic inequality continues in our industry," the letter reads.

"We call on those in positions of influence to harness the cultural power of advertising to bring authentic prominence to the crisis of racial injustice."

The letter calls out inequalities within advertising, that were revealed in IPA Agency Census, published in April. The census outlined that the number of staff in UK agencies from black, Asian and minority-ethnic backgrounds has fallen at each of the three most senior levels.

Only 4.7% of C-suite executives were from a BAME background in September 2019, down from 5.5% in 2018. People of colour also make up a slightly smaller proportion of the overall workforce, down 0.1 percentage point to 13.7%.


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