Do agencies downplay research in favour of their own experience?

Uncomfortable Conversations Episode 3 analyses the damaging impact seeing the world through your own lens has on the industry’s ability to connect with diverse communities.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director


‘Where do we get our insights from?’ This was the question at the heart of the latest episode of our   Uncomfortable Conversations podcast, created in conjunction with Lucky Generals’.

The episode, which is now live, delves into  whether the industry is making enough efforts to ensure that the people it is  talking to as part of its initial research and planning are actually representative of a proper cross-section of society.

Produced by Wildstorm PR the episode provides tangible and actionable advice to marketers, asking questions such as “how can we make sure that our default isn’t always white nuclear families in Milton Keynes?” and “how can we ensure agencies don't downplay what they find in favour of their own experience/gut instinct?”.  

Every month Uncomfortable Conversations invites individuals from the communities most affected to draw on their vast experience and knowledge to give everyone in the industry a tool kit for making our work more inclusive.

Guests this episode are: 

Steven Lacey, Founder, The Outsiders:  An ex planner and cultural researcher with over 20 years experience, Steven is an expert in researching culture, diversity and communications and has worked on the development of a number of award-winning campaigns including Bodyform’s Blood Normal campaign, Womb Stories and Pain Gap as well as Mars Maltesers disability advert which was Mars best-performing advert in terms of sales for 20 years. Steven is disabled, near divergent and from a working-class background. 

Rich Miles, CEO + Founder of The Diversity Standards Collective: The DSC is a business that connects agencies and brands to diverse people across the globe. Rich himself a former Creative Director, also specialises in advising on LGBTQIA+ creative, is part of the organisation OUTvertising, and created an app called ‘The right Pronoun’ the world’s first gender pronoun converter tool.

Arif Miah, Co-Founder and Creative Strategy Director at Mud Orange: Working with lifestyle and tech brands, while providing a strategic specialism in Muslim audiences Miah has a unique take on the industry. Alongside his creative strategy, Arif has written numerous national reports on the British Muslim population - including 'The Great British Ramadan' and 'Modest Fashion: The Industry's Best kept Secret', and the 'm.economy series', helping brands better understand and engage with the burgeoning Muslim consumer.

The series is designed to be an educational and challenging tool for people in advertising and marketing who want to learn about intersectionality, how it affects the industry, their role within it, the work they make, and ultimately, how they can become positive forces for change.  

Founded by Lucky Generals strategy director Rachel Hamburger and account director Katie Hooper, and produced by Wildstorm PR, the podcast gives a platform to members of the amazing minority communities within advertising and marketing who are leading the charge to diversify the industry and bring it into the 21st Century, but who are, sadly, so regularly underrepresented. 

Episode 1 launched at BITE Live in November and looked at the problems of who actually works within the creative industries and produced workable suggestions on how brands and agencies can move from talking about the problem, to actually trying to fix it. You can listen to that episode here

Related Tags

Diversity Inclusion