The power of diverse creators
“If you walk into a hospital or a doctor’s surgery, the whole community is diverse. But when you look at the advertising industry it is not,” explains Ahmed. It is a disconnect that Ahmed’s latest campaign, ‘Diversity’ directed by Richard Paris Wilson, is seeking to tackle. Not just because it is the right thing to do but because it is essential for an industry which must meet the needs of and communicate with the entire population.
“There are nuances that the industry is missing,” Ahmed says, pointing to the fact that there are not enough diverse leaflets and content to reach a wide audience. Then there is the thorny issue of ‘adherence’, the biggest challenge for healthcare marketing, which, put simply is ensuring that patients correctly complete the course of medicine they have been prescribed.
The issue is understanding the cultural nuances and ensuring that all patients, regardless of background, are clear on the benefits of any given medication.
Cross industry collaboration
This is an issue that Ahmed cares passionately about and clearly one that has galvanised the healthcare marketing industry. “We are a moral industry. When you look at a lot of people in our industry, it is clear they are in it for the patients,” he explains.
This cross-industry support is evident in the agency holding groups supporting the campaign, including WPP and Havas Lynx. Alongside the film’s Co-Creator Richard Paris Wilson, the work has been supported by key advocates Tom Richards, Chief Creative Officer at Havas Lynx, Tara Page, MD of Sudler London and Shaheed Peera, Executive Creative Director at Publicis LifeBrands.
Ahmed also believes the industry still has a significant job to do in ensuring that a diverse range of people see that careers in the creative industries can be for them. “As an industry we need to ensure we get out to schools and educators more, as well as working with student bodies to be more present at careers fairs,” he adds.