Campaign reported on a divertsity digital diversion dubbed “Dear Adland”—a site where people can “share their stories of discrimination” experienced while working in the field. Not surprisingly, the story illustration (depicted above) shows a bullhorn held by a White woman’s hand. That aside, “Dear Adland” sounds like a sanitized rerun of Diet Madison Avenue. It will be interesting to see if the discriminated will name the discriminators. After all, why is it okay for sexual harassers to be expelled from the industry while the culturally clueless—namely, White advertising agency leaders leading White advertising agencies—get a pass?
Dear Adland project wants those in the industry to share their discrimination stories
By Gurjit Degun
A group of marketing and advertising bodies have backed an initiative that allows people to share their stories of discrimination while working in the industry and connect with each other to build “confidence and power”.
Dear Adland was set up by Emily de Groot and is a site for men and women to post anonymous accounts of bias, sexual or racial harassment and issues experienced as a parent.
De Groot explains on the site that the aim is to create a forum with senior industry leaders “and we want to create a ‘fishbowl’ for listening for them”.
The initiative, which is backed by Creative Equals and Bloom, will host a reading and invite managing directors and chief executives from every ad agency in London. They will also be published into a “boardroom book” that will be handed to agency leaders.
“We think they’ll hear more than enough stories to prompt them to take action,” the site says. “We’ll invite them to respond with their plans and strategies to ensure these kind of stories are no longer heard.”
It adds: “The greatest change comes from us using our voice. Our voice gives us confidence and power. It allows us to connect with others, who might be going through a similar thing. If we stay quiet it can create guilt and shame, which can linger.
“It’s through using our voice and understanding another person’s point of view that change can really happen.”