Industry Alliance BRiM Launches To Improve Black Representation In Marketing

BRiM, a new and unprecedented industry collaboration in the UK to increase Black representation in marketing (BRiM) has launched. BRiM is powered by a group of the world’s largest advertisers and agency partners, leading members of the Black community and industry diversity, equity and inclusion experts. To mark the launch, BRiM is unveiling a framework to increase Black representation in marketing.

The Advertising Association has made the BRiM framework available for free via its website and is inviting everyone in the industry to review the framework and put plans into action to create impactful and long-lasting change.

The new open-sourced, cross industry framework, incorporates existing efforts and resources, providing principles, commitments and tools to champion fair representation of Black people in marketing. The framework aims to cover the complete marketing journey. It starts with the creative output, and extends to the ecosystem of partners who create the marketing assets, as well as the core team at the heart of strategic campaign decisions. The framework provides examples of commitments that people in organisations, both large and small, should consider adopting, with readily available templates and tools at hand when putting their efforts into practice.  

According to new BRiM research*, 7 in 10 marketing professionals in the UK understand the need for fairer Black representation. And more than half of marketing professionals have made decisions to increase Black presentation in marketing in the past 12 months. However, there is an opportunity to move from good intentions to meaningful actions given that 42% of professionals have not made any decisions to increase Black representation in the past year. BRiM can help close this gap.

By joining the BRiM community, individuals are demonstrating their commitment to a long term journey and will be asked to feed into regular research to measure progress that they or their organisation are making in representing Black people fairly. Learnings will be shared publicly, anonymising the input.  

The BRiM steering group, who shaped the direction of the initiative and played a crucial role in developing the framework, is made up of brands including BrainLabs, Deloitte Digital, Dentsu, Droga5, Facebook, Omnicom Media Group, PepsiCo, Publicis, Shell, TUI Group, Unilever, Universal Pictures, VCCP, Wise and Wunderman Thompson. This group is supported by an advisory panel made up of the Black community and industry diversity, equity and inclusion experts, including Ali Hannan, Amina Razaq, Amir Malik, Bejay Mulenga, Dara Lynch, Dinah Williams, Ete Davies, Julian Douglas, June Sarpong, Leila Siddiqi, Rob Scotland, Sabrina Clarke-Okwubanego, Sammi Vaughan, Seun Shobande, Sharon Lloyd-Barnes, Sophia Haynes and Yemi Jackson.

While Black representation in television advertising is gradually increasing (Channel 4 Mirror on the Industry Report 2019), a third of Black people have seen their group represented in a tokenistic way. And although there has been a 15.3% increase in non-white representation over the past year in agencies, many of those are in junior and middle management, and just 6.4% of those in C-suite positions are from non-white backgrounds (2020 IPA Agency Census).

Today, BRiM and the AA are inviting everyone in the industry to join the BRiM community and download or bookmark the framework so the whole industry can drive change and improve representation for Black people both on and off camera. 

“There is much work to be done in terms of Black representation in marketing: on screen, in production companies, agencies and advertisers. I am committed to helping create tangible actions that lead to sustained and meaningful change for the long term. BRiM will continue to highlight this issue and accelerate progress in the area and I am incredibly honoured to be Chair.”

Julian Douglas, Chairman of VCCP, IPA President and BRiM’s Advisory Board Chair

“If we want to increase Black representation in our industry, we need to stop thinking it is someone else’s job. Creating long term and meaningful change requires collective action. Our hope is for BRiM to be the catalyst for that action. The BRiM framework provides practical steps that anyone can take whether you’re a CMO or graduate starting out, to challenge the lack of Black representation head-on. We all have a responsibility and opportunity to move the needle on this issue – once and for all. I encourage everyone to join the BRiM community and download the framework today.”
Nicola Mendelsohn, VP Facebook EMEA & Chair of the BRiM Steering Group

“The Advertising Association is hugely proud to support BRiM. It is the most comprehensive programme yet to accelerate change and improve the inclusion and development of Black talent in our industry. It is essential that we make progress on this critical area as an industry if we are to achieve our goal to build back better following the impact of the pandemic.”
Stephen Woodford, CEO, Advertising Association

On June 10, the Advertising Association, along with the IPA and ISBA, will be holding the All In Summit where it will be revealing the results of the All In Census and an Action Plan to build a more inclusive workplace. More details about the online event are available here.

*BRiM research conducted by MetrixLab with a representative sample of 304 marketing professionals in the UK online between 1-10 April 2021. Marketing professionals defined as those that work in the advertising, marketing, market research/ consumer insights departments/ functions in their firm.

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