Less than a month to go until the IDEA Conference in Toronto

The ICA (Institute of Communication Agencies) has rebranded its annual industry celebration. FFWD Advertising & Marketing Week is now Inclusivity, Diversity & Equality in Advertising (I.D.E.A.) Summit. At its heart it is still all about creativity, media & transformation but now through the lens of the business imperative of inclusivity, diversity & equality.

The Inclusivity, Diversity and Equality in Advertising Summit is focused on inspiring action that will deliver diversity in teams and workplaces for better business results. Brands, agencies and thought leaders from across the world will come together to showcase ways in which greater inclusivity, diversity, and equality will help meet the demands of today’s advertisers. Canada has built the capital to be a global authority on this issue, which will be reflected in topics at IDEA that include World Class Creative, Innovative Platforms, Employee Engagement, and Education & Elevation.

We think this is a great event for ethical marketers and well worth a look, we spoke to Scott Knox the President & CEO of ICA a bit about the IDEA Conerence:

Can you tell me a bit about the IDEA Conference?

We are very excited that this is the first year of the new IDEA conference, this program has replaced what used to be Adweek in Canada. The conference is really a celebration of Canada’s long history of success and authenticity with diversity and inclusiveness through our creative. We have consistently been the country that sets the diversity and inclusion bar for the rest of the world’s creatives. The conference is at Tiff Bell Lightbox, just a week after the film festival itself, to provide a forum for international creatives and thought leaders to discuss, workshop and talk action on inclusion and diversity issues.

We will have a roster of fearless and passionate advocates of inclusion speaking such as: 

  • Cindy Gallop – Bestselling Author, Adwoman Extraordinaire and Consummate Badass.
  • Lisen Stromberg – Author, Journalist and Cultural Innovation Consultant.

How important do you feel something like the conference is for the Industry?

Extremely important – we are in a time where divisions in the UK and the USA are becoming gulf-like and Canada, now, more than ever – needs to set an example of true diversity and inclusiveness. We feel that Canada is the rightful home for global creatives to discuss and debate these issues and we’re looking for the world to take notice.

How important do you think ethics and ethical marketing is within the industry?

Just yesterday, we saw such a polarizing reaction to the Nike/ Colin Kaepernick campaign – which was really about believing in something and risking all for that belief. This is the kind of brave advertising we need to truly reach audiences with a message. Nike has done something brave here and should be commended. It might cost them in the short term but resonate in the long term – if you contrast that with the tone deaf Kendall Jenner Pepsi campaign last year and how the public reacted to it – it’s clear that consumers are looking for ethical, authentic and opinion driven ads.

Are there any other initiatives you would like to share with us that you feel might be pertinent?

We will have some big news about diversity and inclusion in Canadian creative agencies soon – and will make sure we share it with you at that time.

Thanks so much to Scott for taking the time to answer our questions.

The IDEA Summit will be held at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, on the 1st to 3rd October 2018.

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