Wednesday, April 26, 2017

13657: Shea Moisture’s Bad Hair Hire Day.

At Adweek, Patrick Coffee wrote “How Growing Brands Can Avoid Shea Moisture’s Mistake of Alienating Core Fans.” Um, is the doofus who works as the head poster at AgencySpy really qualified to counsel brands? After all, AgencySpy ultimately alienated its core fans by bringing Coffee on board. Regardless, the lengthy piece only offers two points worth noting:

1. Adweek revealed, “In an effort to increase its market share, the brand hired Droga5 as its creative agency of record.” While the White advertising agency had nothing to do with the Shea moisture video sparking online outrage, the hiring shows that the hair care company is culturally clueless and has clearly lost touch with its customer base.

2. Adweek wrote, “A spokesperson for VaynerMedia did not respond to a request for comment…” Okay, VaynerMedia is a White digital shop run by Gary Vaynerchuk, an alleged social media guru—which underscores how social media is anti-social to minorities.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

13656: Shea It Ain’t So!

First, Pantene wooed Black women, despite historically and predominantly targeting White women. Now, Shea Moisture is reaching out to White women, despite historically and predominantly targeting Black women. Advertising Age reported on the Shea Moisture campaign and the associated hair-pulling backlash.

Slammed on Twitter, Shea Moisture Pulls Ad Seen as Moving Brand Away From Black Women

By Jack Neff

The idea that women of all races should love their hair may seem non-controversial. Forget that.

Shea Moisture, a brand long marketed primarily to African-American women, got a social-media smackdown Monday afternoon that made it the top U.S. Twitter trend with nearly 33,000 tweets as of 5 p.m. Tweets objected to new advertising that reaches out to white women and equates the “hair hate” they face to what black women encounter. By 6 p.m., the brand had pulled the ad.

Commenters saw the ad as an effort by Shea Moisture to move away from its core consumers toward white women, some of whom are depicted in the 60-second video as using Shea Moisture products. A tweet by Nana Jibril, who describes herself on LinkedIn as a freelance social-media expert and former social-media manager at her alma mater Old Dominion, appears to have started things.

Other tweets included satire—one depicting an ugly desegregation confrontation as white women clamoring for Shea Moisture.

In another, Rachel Dolezal, the former Spokane, Wash., NAACP president who is white but said she “identifies as black,” expressing an interest in the brand.

“At the core of it is that the African-American community has over time seen many brands that stood for them not stand for them,” said Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO of Sundial Brands, which markets the Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage brands. “And they’re very concerned that a brand that has meant so much to this community will no longer stand for them. The reality is that we’ll always stand for them.”

The ad from VaynerMedia is part of a campaign that features a diverse group of 40 women, focusing on “the different challenges in society around hair and beauty,” Dennis said. “Knowing the ethos of the brand and where it started, we know better, and we should make sure our core African-American consumer always feels represented in everything we do, because we are not moving away from her.”

The ad, since pulled, was part of a broader campaign created by a collaboration of in-house and outside agencies.

Haircare brands that appeal to predominantly white women—such as Unilever’s Dove and Procter & Gamble Co.’s Pantene—have reached out to African-American women and other ethnic groups without major recriminations. Dove did so with ads and products focused on curly hair, without making them overtly about any particular ethnic group. Pantene in March launched a campaign in March aimed at combatting bias against African-American hairstyles.

Monday, April 24, 2017

13655: American Gladiators & Aviators.

The Huffington Post published a report about an ugly confrontation between an American Airlines employee and passenger—and the video player aired a Delta Airlines commercial with a track singing, “Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go!”

13654: Strategic Bullshit Via JWT.

AgencySpy posted on the latest nonsense involving the Erin Johnson lawsuit against JWT and WPP, with Johnson’s lawyers accusing the opposition of attempting to delay the potential trial date. AgencySpy only offered a single item worth spotlighting:

Here’s one interesting tidbit. During the December hearing, Howard Rubin of Davis & Gilbert stated that “things have improved” at JWT’s New York office since last November, when Johnson went back to work and her lawyers almost immediately submitted a letter claiming that agency leadership had engaged in “retaliatory behavior” in pressuring her to resign.

“I know she is having a meeting in January to talk about planning the global strategy for the company, which, I think, again, seems like she and the CEO [Tamara Ingram] are getting along better than maybe when first letters were written,” he said.

First of all, the opinion of a Davis & Gilbert lawyer representing JWT and WPP is BS. Johnson and Ingram met to discuss the agency’s global strategy? Hmmm. Perhaps Johnson masterminded all the diverted diversity smokescreens and shields JWT has recently assembled, fabricating its sly global strategy to appear inclusive and friendly to women and minorities—despite being embroiled in a sensationalistic lawsuit featuring sexism, racism, cronyism and anti-Semitism. It’s more than ironic that JWT is symbolized by an Old White Guy.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

13653: Killing It With Insensitivity.

Campaign published “How to have a killer career without killing yourself” by recently retired Phelps Chief Creative Officer Howie Cohen—and the piece included a jokey photo of a skeleton at a workstation (depicted above). Given the issue of adpeople dying on the job, this all seems quite insensitive.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

13652: Boldly Bad Bullshit.

LISTERINE® is trying to position itself as “bold” via a campaign—featuring a White breakdancer and White stuntwoman—that is anything but bold. Three White advertising agencies—MRY, JWT Worldwide and Tongal—are taking credit for the mess, which is probably the boldest move in the entire scenario.

Friday, April 21, 2017

13651: Lévy Promises To Shine.

Advertising Age reported outgoing and outdated Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy declared, “I’m not totally retiring. I’m not even semi-retiring.” The old man added, “I will actively seek to strengthen our client portfolio and support [Arthur Sadoun] and the management board. I will be there each time they ask me to do something, including shining their shoes.” The board should ask Lévy to clean up the piles of poop he’s purchased in recent years. Shit and Shinola!

Lévy Would Rather Shine Shoes Than Retire From Publicis Groupe

By Emma Hall

Maurice Lévy, the outgoing chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, is so keen to stay involved in the company that he has offered to shine the shoes of the management board.

“I’m not totally retiring,” he told analysts at his final earnings presentation in Paris this morning. “I’m not even semi-retiring.”

On June 1, Lévy will hand over the chairman and CEO roles at the agency holding giant to Arthur Sadoun, currently CEO of Publicis Communications, and take on a new role as chairman of Publicis Groupe’s supervisory board.

“I will actively seek to strengthen our client portfolio and support Arthur and the management board,” Mr Lévy insisted. “I will be there each time they ask me to do something, including shining their shoes.”

Lévy was keen to point out that he has not been leading Publicis Groupe on his own for the last 30 years. “It’s not a one-man show,” he said. “It’s a team show. The team is changing the leader for somebody who is more energetic, has more ideas, is much younger, and will take the company to another level.”

First-quarter results, which showed revenue of $2.5 million, were not as upbeat as Lévy’s delivery but moved in the right direction. Organic revenue, which excludes the impact of acquisitions, slipped 1.2%, an improvement on the 2.5% decline seen in the final quarter of 2016. North America was the worst-performing region, with a 5% drop in organic revenue. All other regions showed growth in organic revenue, led by Europe’s 5.5% increase.

Despite the declines, Lévy described a positive future for the French communications group, whose agencies include Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Starcom and Mediavest. He said he expects Publicis Groupe to return to growth in the second half of 2017, and to be outperforming the market by the second half of 2018.

Asked about YouTube’s brand safety issues and Facebook’s fake news controversy, Lévy responded, “Clearly I don’t believe that Google and Facebook have done anything wrong. I believe that the situation is so complex that even the great minds that are leading both companies have difficulties in coping with zillions of ads that have to be distributed on zillions of sites and addresses.”

However, these same challenges present opportunities for Publicis Groupe, according to Lévy. Marketers “need to be certain the money is directed to the right audience with the right message,” he said. “This is where the value of what we have to bring has to be perceived by the client much better than in the past. They have to understand that to get to the right audience, to use the right data, to use the right platform, means to pay a fair price to the people who are developing this.”

Lévy also asserted that Publicis Groupe has “killed the holding company model ... and moved to become a connecting company.” In November, for example, Publicis Groupe announced that Sapient.Nitro would be merged with Razorfish, both a part of the group’s digital division, Publicis.Sapient. The North America results have been dragged down by troubles at digital agency Razorfish, which Lévy said included an over reliance on one-off projects, and management changes that have seen three CEOs in three years.

“We thought there was a bigger prize to win if we were to create the alchemy between technology and creativity,” Lévy said of the decision to integrate SapientNitro into the group. “We offer an end-to-end solution to our clients, including a technology platform that provides a wealth of solutions. For a lower cost, our clients can reach consumers better.”

Lévy signed off by telling analysts, “It’s been a fantastic journey. Bonne chance and I’m sure that you will enjoy Arthur’s way of dealing with you in the future.”

Thursday, April 20, 2017

13650: The Whitest Of Them All.

This wine from Portugal claims to be “The Whitest White.” Surely it can’t be whiter than the advertising industry.

13649: McMindy Campaign Is SO Bad.

The latest Mickey D’s campaign from We Are Unlimited features Mindy Kaling inviting people to visit “That place where Coke tastes SO good.” Wow. You know it’s bad when the Golden Arches is hyping a soft drink partner versus original menu items. Hey, let’s trick folks into coming to McDonald’s by luring them with The Real Thing—which, incidentally, is also steadily declining in popularity. Sorry, but this concept fails on SO many levels. Is there no limit to the awfulness of We Are Unlimited?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

13648: LGBT CTA.

Adweek published the latest cry for LGBT equality, representing another segment leapfrogging over racial and ethnic equality in the advertising industry. Hey, even AMC series Mad Men featured LGBT characters in leadership roles—versus the subservient Blacks relegated to support staff positions.

Why Committing to LGBT Equality and Embracing a Diverse Workplace Is So Good for Brands

It’s a powerful signal that companies care about doing what’s right

By Phil Schraeder

The teenage years are rarely easy, and that’s especially true for those of us in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

When I was growing up in the Midwest, I had a passion for business. However, there were very few LGBT role models I could look up to in corporate America. I knew that when I started my own career, I wanted to find a job where I could be the same person at work that I was at home; yet, I wasn’t sure if such a job existed.

Finding that job took a lot of perseverance. After graduating from college, I moved to Los Angeles and started my career in entertainment because I thought it would be the most accepting environment. However, even in that industry, which is known to be more LGBT-friendly than most, it was a struggle to find a job where I could be entirely open about my life without any fear of discrimination.

When I did eventually find a job that made me feel truly comfortable, at in-image advertising pioneer GumGum, my world opened and everything changed. The more relaxed I felt about my LGBT identity in the office, the happier I felt in general and the better I performed at work. I found myself quickly climbing the corporate ladder, and I’m now GumGum’s president and COO, where I have the great pleasure of leading a thriving company.

I share this story not because of my personal success, but rather because I could not have succeeded in this way in a company that was not committed to LGBT equality. That’s why I have mixed feelings about the 2016 edition of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which set a new record for the number of businesses that earned a top score of 100 percent in equality. While it is remarkable that the CEI set a new record for truly inclusive companies, that record-breaking number is only 366—366 companies in all of America that were found to be fully inclusive. While it’s a start, it’s also a reminder of how far we have to go.

This isn’t to deny the real progress that has been made. Quite a few corporate executives spoke out against bills designed to legalize discrimination in Indiana and Arizona, and they were rightfully applauded for their bravery and leadership. But, as I hope my own story indicates, corporate executives should focus on LGBT inclusion and equality not only because it’s the right thing to do. They should also do so because it’s good for their businesses.

The best and brightest LGBT millennials will have their choice of jobs, and they will choose the companies where they feel they can truly be themselves—companies where all employees can happily put a family photo on their desks, regardless of their sexual orientation. And when these LGBT employees arrive at their new jobs, they will make their new companies stronger not only directly through their work, but also indirectly through the creation of a more diverse and creative workforce.

The benefits to companies that reach out to the LGBT community won’t end there. Whether they’re members of the LGBT community or not, millennials want to work for socially responsible companies. When a corporation institutes new nondiscrimination protections or updates its benefits and diversity practices to be more inclusive, it sends a powerful signal to an entire generation that the company cares about doing what’s right. In many cases, that signal can be more powerful for recruiting than even the promise of big paychecks.

Change, of course, will only come when more of us speak out about the need for it. To this day, many states still have laws that make it possible to use a person’s sexual orientation as grounds for dismissal. That’s why it was so important for Tim Cook to publish his essay in Bloomberg Businessweek in 2014. And Cook is a great example of the larger point. As Cook put it, “I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.” Imagine the enormous loss to Apple if Cook had not felt comfortable at the company and had left to work somewhere else.

But Tim Cook is only one person. The next generation of LGBT employees deserves corporate role models not just at Apple, but also at every other major company. It’s for this reason that I’m currently involved in a program that sends executives in the LGBT community to high schools to discuss career options for LGBT students. And it’s for this reason that every corporation that wants to rise to the top should be getting in front of LGBT groups at colleges and high schools across the country.

If corporate America can reach the LGBT community and demonstrate genuine support, it will have a huge impact on business and equality all at once. It’s great that there are now 366 fully inclusive and equal companies in America—but there are many thousands more to go.

Phil Schraeder is the president and COO at GumGum (@GumGum). He is based in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

13647: Micro-Lending & Macro-Contributions.

Today’s Google Doodle salutes Esther Afua Ocloo, the late Ghanaian entrepreneur and business leader who ultimately helped empower millions of women to succeed in business. Her achievements include being a pioneer in micro-lending, stimulating businesses by making small loans. In short, she contributed far more to global gender equality than the overwhelming majority of adpeople who’ve jumped onto the White women’s bandwagon.

13646: Alluring Commentary.

The April 2017 issue of Allure features 41 women of color discussing diversity. Wonder if there are more women of color in the fashion/modeling field versus the less-than-100 Black female executives in the advertising field.

13645: So White Program So-So.

The Drum reported on the “Easter So White” campaign designed to expose the dearth of diversity—namely, the absence of Black, Asian and minority ethnic characters—in UK advertising campaigns. The holiday initiative is part of the So White Project, which was “founded to raise awareness of the lack of diverse imagery in marketing and advertising.” Supporters of the project include Google, BBH, DigitasLBi, Dentsu Aegis Network and Saatchi & Saatchi. Um, the supporters are among the key perpetrators. And the underrepresentation of minorities in advertising campaigns and advertising agencies is not news. A co-founder of the So White Project said, “It doesn’t end here and for #SummerSoWhite we are having exciting conversations with diversity organisations to represent the full wonderful diversity of the UK. There is no element of diversity we won’t represent.” How about Adland So White?

‘Easter So White’ campaign looks to draw attention to lack of BAME diversity in advertising

By Rebecca Stewart

Diversity is not just for Christmas — that’s the message behind ‘Easter So White’, the latest campaign from a group of creatives looking to find a solution to the under-representation of the Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities in advertising.

In the same vain as last year’s ‘Christmas So White’ initiative, the latest project aims to counter the “cultural white-wash” often presented in imagery around Easter.

Kickstarted by a team of creatives, the So White Project looks to normalise diverse imagery through real life photography. As part of its Easter campaign it has teamed up with Getty to make available a series of royalty free images for brands to use in their own ads.

The images were captured by photographer Helen Marsden and include shots of Easter egg hunts and egg painting as well as drawing attention to other culture’s Easter traditions.

The inspiration to include other cultural traditions occurred when Selma Nicholls, one of the So White Project founders, revealed Easter Egg hunts are not a typical tradition for her, explaining she would instead visit family and friends whilst eating bun and cheese and fried fish; both Caribbean Easter traditions.

Models for the campaign were supplied by Nicholls’ agency Looks Like Me, which seeks to raise the profile of underrepresented groups.

Using the hashtag #EasterSoWhite, users on social media will be driven to the So White Project hub, while a partnership with Exterion and Primesight will enable the imagery to be featured in OOH locations throughout the UK.

‘Easter So White’ has been backed by a roster of ten brands, platforms and agencies including: MediaCom; Google; Above+Beyond; AnalogFolk; BBH, DigitasLBi; Dentsu Aegis Network; New Look; Saatchi & Saatchi and Sunshine.

Nadya Powell, one of the co-founders of the scheme said: “With ‘Easter So White’ it was important to build on the diversity message we established at Christmas so including diverse cultural traditions was a really exciting next step.

“It doesn’t end here and for #SummerSowhite we are having exciting conversations with diversity organisations to represent the full wonderful diversity of the UK. There is no element of diversity we won’t represent,” she finished.

“As communicators, we should know better than anyone that the images we are exposed to, and the stories that businesses tell create the lens through which we all see the world,” said Matt Law, chief operating officer at AnalogFolk.

“We are glad to have had the opportunity to support the #EasterSoWhite campaign and make a small step to creating a culture more representative of everyone in it.”

Monday, April 17, 2017

13644: USAA Today.

This USAA commercial features an interracial family. Would the financial services company’s former White advertising agency—Campbell Ewald—have produced such a spot? Not sure the new White advertising agency from Publicis Groupe is much better. While the comments at YouTube have been disabled, there are currently more dislikes than likes for the commercial. Maybe disgruntled Campbell Ewald employees are casting the negative votes.

13643: Jumping All Over Jump In.

Too much has already been discussed regarding the Pepsi-Kendall Jenner video, but MultiCultClassics would like to examine one area that has not been critiqued enough. According to news sources including NBC, “Pepsi said the film, titled ‘Jump In,’ was produced by PepsiCo’s in-house content creation arm, Creators League Studio.” In 2016, Digiday and Advertising Age spotlighted the enterprise and its leader, Brad Jakeman. You know, the PepsiCo Global Beverage Group President who has boldly booted a recruiter and been solemnly saluted by the AD Club for his diverted diversity drivel. When it comes to inclusion, Jakeman likes to talk the talk; however, his continued partnership with White advertising agencies shows an inability to walk the walk.

Others contend the Pepsi debacle presents lessons on the industry’s dearth of diversity and monocultural workplaces, as well as insular in-house models. While these notions probably contributed to the overall mess, MultiCultClassics still believes the root dilemma goes beyond such easy targets.

Digiday revealed that Pepsi envisioned Creators League Studio would “let marketers, not agencies, sit in the creative driver’s seat.” Citing how the beverage maker annually generates up to 400 pieces of digital videos and content, the wondrous studio could “bring all of that in house and do it quickly, as well as cheaply.”

Advertising Age wrote that Jakeman declared, “Our goal is to really behave like a Hollywood studio.” The Tinseltown wannabe added, “The holy grail for me is to leverage the incredible power of our brands and their equities to essentially fund their own marketing. Will we ever get there? It is going to take a while. Are we making steps toward that direction? Absolutely, we are.”

Okey-doke. So here’s the problem. PepsiCo assembled an efficiency-focused—i.e., cheap—production factory and appointed an unqualified doofus to lead the revolutionary experiment. Hell, Jakeman could benefit from dialing the Omnicom hotline and begging the holding company to assign one of its White advertising agencies to take control. At this point, Fathom Communications would be a significant improvement. Let Creators League Studio cover the bulk of below-the-line digital content that customers will ignore. But don’t let Creators League Studio play in the big leagues. And don’t let Jakeman play the Hollywood mogul-creative director-procurement guru. The man should serve as a Global Beverage Group President instead, maximizing his core competencies and professional gifts.

In the end, the “Jump In” video underscores a simple truth: Pepsi has become a shitty client.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

13641: Please Quit, BBDO.

This anti-smoking commercial is from Ireland via BBDO, declaring there are now more quitters than smokers in the country. However, there are clearly not more racial and ethnic minorities, as the only Black Irishman—not to be confused with Black Irish—appears in the background of a single scene (squint to spot him in the third frame presented here). Of course, that didn’t stop BBDO from hijacking Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” Not sure why they felt the need to caption the lyrics. Perhaps the White advertising agency feared Irish people wouldn’t understand Gaynor’s words…?

Friday, April 14, 2017

13640: Fearless Girl Follies.

The artist behind the “Charging Bull” sculpture on Wall Street is demanding that “Fearless Girl” be removed, as the new sculpture is messing with the original meaning of his work—which was intended to symbolize freedom, peace, strength, power and love. Of course, all the diverted diversity defenders are lashing back at the artist. But the truth is, the bull creator is right. Like it or not, “Fearless Girl” is a sponsored advertising stunt. Besides, there are other NYC locations where she could be positioned to make an even bolder declaration of fearlessness.

Stand before Fox News headquarters to protest Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment.

Face off with Trump Tower to generate a huge political statement.

Hey, why not bring attention to the discriminatory dearth of diversity in the advertising industry by returning to her birthplace at McCann New York?

13639: Scarcity & Scarier.

Digiday interviewed Karmarama Chief Strategy Officer and PrideAM Founder Mark Runacus, who stated, “…People often fear the bigoted minority who will create a backlash.” Okay, but the scarier problems usually come from the bigoted majority. Digiday also pointed to research indicating LGBT people constitute only .06% of people in ads. Not sure how the figure could be valid, as commercial actors are not typically required to supply such personal data. Wonder how the true percentage compares to similar stats for racial and ethnic minorities underrepresented in adverts.

Agency exec on scarcity of LGBT people in ads: ‘People fear the bigoted minority’

By Grace Caffyn

As Kendall Jenner’s ad catastrophe at Pepsi illustrates, those who hitch their wagon to socio-political causes (however vague) can, and do, get burned.

Agencies’ fear of this, according to chief strategy officer at Karmarama and PrideAM founder Mark Runacus, is what’s holding the industry back from better representing its audiences, including those lumped together in the LGBT umbrella: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and other variations of sexual and gender identity.

Case in point: According to research from Lloyd’s Banking Group, which examined 1,300 ads from 40 top-spending brands, LGBT people make up just .06 percent of people in ads.

We spoke to Runacus about his thoughts on the issue. Answers have been lightly edited for clarity.

You’ve said previously that agency planners are holding back representation of LGBT people in advertising. Tell me more.

It comes from both sides, but agencies are more often the blockage than the client. This happens for two reasons: ignorance and fear. First, there is an expectation you only include LGBT content if you’re targeting the so-called “pink pound.” But the community doesn’t like being ghettoized, and that term is actually offensive. We don’t think of ourselves in that way. Second, people often fear the bigoted minority who will create a backlash.

Give me an example.

They know who they are, and they’ll have heard my comments. Hopefully they have managed to work through that ignorance.

So some planners still see LGBT audiences as niche?

Often it’s because they think their brand isn’t relevant to LGBT audiences. It’s right that as planners we should think of how to target and better communicate with an audience, but it’s wrong to only include LGBT content if you are targeting LGBT people. We know that 49 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds don’t identify as straight or gay; this is part of everyday life for them. So for modern brands with purpose, it’s important to use this diverse content to create better engagement.

What are the challenges for agencies wanting to get this right?

The main challenge is understanding how to communicate without falling into stereotypes. But LGBT people don’t always have to be front and center, just part of real life. When it’s done well, like the recent Lloyd’s Bank advert, it’s fantastic. It can be done.

Does a lack of diversity inside agencies make this harder? You’ve mentioned before that the ‘scariness’ of making inclusive ads is amplified by agencies that aren’t diverse.

Agencies are still not inclusive enough. There are leaders in the advertising community who are predominantly white, middle-class men. It’s proven that when you remove homogeneity, you create an environment that’s more creative. If we’re reflective of our target audience, I’m confident we’re much less likely to witness this fear and ignorance I’ve talked about.

How so?

Agencies should challenge the existing recruitment process, for example, by reviewing CVs anonymously and doing one-on-one interviews. Young people aren’t convinced in you saying you’re actually doing it; they want to see it. For instance, does your website look inclusive? Do you have gender-neutral toilets? This all shows you’ve paid attention to the detail. However, I’m optimistic as I’m surrounded by young people who believe we have to change.

Do brands care enough?

There are loads of people who want to do this because trust in advertising is at an all-time low. Brands are vying for attention, and if they do this authentically and sensitively, they will connect better with consumers. But brands aren’t challenging agencies enough to accurately reflect their current and aspirational audience with an understanding of how progressive the U.K. population is today. In their briefs, brands need to include a challenge. Agencies will then be empowered to respond.

What’s your advice to brands?

It’s important that you’re authentic, which starts by looking within. If consumers can see that the brand’s external manifestation is a genuine representation of what happens inside its walls, they shouldn’t be fearful. If companies have an LGBT network, they should ask how they want to be portrayed and use them as a powerful insight and advocacy tool. Then, in an unlikely event of a backlash, they’ll have ready-made supporters.