UK ad bosses pledge to support black talent in open letter amid George Floyd outrage

Advertising trade bodies and bosses from some of the UK’s largest agencies have signed an open letter pledging solidarity with the black community, promising to take action on inequality and “maintain inclusive cultures that are sensitive to the enduring injustice and pain of racism”. Chief executives at some of the UK’s biggest advertising agencies, platforms and trade bodies — including WPP, Publicis, Facebook, ITV and the IPA — have pledged to tackle the “systemic inequality” within the industry and support black talent. Lending their signatures to an open letter coordinated by Creative Equals, a body dedicated to promoting diversity in the workplace, the promise from 200 UK industry bosses comes against the backdrop of continued protests in the US and beyond following the death of George Floyd in police custody. A video showing a white police officer in Minneapolis continuing to kneel on Floyd's neck even after he pleaded that he could not breathe has reignited deep-seated anger over police brutality against black Americans. “While the brutality has brought widespread shock, the direct effect of this injustice and violence on people of colour in our industry cannot be underestimated,” explains the letter from UK ad executives, which work with and represent clients like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Unilever. The letter continues: "It is not the sole responsibility of our black colleagues to address this imbalance, nor to educate us on the inequities that racism in our industry creates.

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