Dear Adland invites the industry to #createchange

By sharing people’s stories publicly, but anonymously, Dear Adland are creating testament to the fact that none of us are alone. They’re building the swell for a new wave of advertising; a safer and more positive place for everyone.

Dear Adland



Dear Adland is for sick people, like us. Because we’re sick of the bias and sexual harassment. The mums screwed over after mat leave; the brazen, untouchable bullies; the handsy CEOs at Christmas parties and the racist, homophobic jokes.

We’re sick of seeing introverts silenced in meetings and under-qualified privileged white men get promoted for no reason, and by privileged we don’t mean private school or were born with a silver spoon; we mean living through the world with the kind of ease some may never experience. We’re over the office gropes and archaic tropes.

We’re sick of the lack of apologies. Of a system that’s been run on alcohol, dodgy deals done in pubs and client servicing in strip clubs. We’re tired of having to repeat ourselves. Calling out all-male panels every damn week. The NDAS and expensive lawyers; being seen as troublemakers. Codes of conduct are written, but they’re designed for the ones who never listen. We’re bored of hearing: “But…he’s always been alright with me…”

We want bad cultures called out and brilliant jerks evicted from the workplace. We want to look out for each other more. We are women, and men, and non-binary people. We are people who love our jobs, but know the industry is imperfect. We intend to send a message that disrespectful behaviour is unacceptable. Adland prides itself on using beautiful stories in grandiose TV ads to make waves yet remains a slave to the old days of mad men and madder ways where just one personality type thrived.

We can all #createchange. New, honest words to make a big difference. Donald Trump would say: if you don’t like it, leave. Farage would forge a 48-sheet telling us all to go home. But we’re sick of brilliant people leaving the industry because the industry couldn’t grow up. Because they got tired of speaking up. We want to show we mean business and fix the mess. We need to urgently address the talent exodus. We need to recognise that people don’t have a sell by date, that age discrimination is not only illegal it's devastating for business. By sharing our stories publicly, but anonymously, we create testament to the fact that none of us are alone. We’re building the swell for a new wave of advertising.

A safer and more positive place for everyone.

We are Dear Adland

And as well as sharing stories we want to share resources, so if you’re facing a challenge check out the organisations below.

NABS / Bloom / She Says / TimeTo / The Other Box / Outvertising

Pregnant Then Screwed / 3% Conference / Good Girls Eat Dinner

If you face maternity discrimination make sure you speak to a lawyer first and get the best advice possible, particularly before signing an NDA. Pregnant Then Screwed have an advice line you can call 0161 930 5300, Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm, or you can email [email protected].

You can submit your story to create change here. Or have a look at other stories people have submitted and share any with colleagues or friends which might help them.

We ask people to provide the learnings when they submit a story to help someone else going through something similar.

Illustration © Marcus Walters

Words © Amy Kean


We’re a group of like minded people in the creative industry, wanting to create change. The greatest change comes from us using our voice. Our voice gives us confidence and power. It allows us to connect with others, who might be going through a similar thing. If we stay quiet it can create guilt and shame, which can linger. It’s through using our voice and understanding another person's point of view that change can really happen. Action can happen. So, we’re asking for your anonymous stories. Names won’t be mentioned. Your stories will be published into a boardroom book which we’ll give to CEO’s and leaders in the industry. We think they'll hear more than enough stories to prompt them to take action.

Related Tags