Unstereotype Alliance Launches Conversations for Change

New Content Series To Tackle Diversity and Representation

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


How do you solve a problem like dismantling stereotypes in advertising? This is just one of the fundamental challenges addressed by a new content series from the Unstereotype Alliance: Conversations for Change. 

The Conversations for Change series, which will run on the Unstereotype Alliance YouTube channel, tackles topics such as the importance of cultural nuance and dealing with backlash. The educational series features inclusive leaders from brands, alongside diversity, equity and inclusion experts from organisations and agencies. 

The series launches in the midst of research that reveals amongst marketers 70% expect to use more diverse representation in their campaigns over the next 12 months. Yet, while there is a widespread acceptance that change is necessary, how to ensure that it is authentic remains a challenge.

Diversity and inclusion should never be seen as a competitive advantage and the more we can all widely share our lessons and best practice, the sooner advertising and society at large can reap the benefits.

Claire Low, Senior Marketing Director, Cadbury

Overcoming the fear of getting it wrong

The research reveals the barriers brands perceive as getting in the way of diverse representation, with respondents citing ‘fear of getting it wrong’ (64%) as the biggest challenge. Other challenges are ‘lack of knowledge of diverse communities’ (47%), ‘lack of experience in portraying diverse communities (44%) and ‘lack of diverse talent in agency or brand teams’ (36%). 

Curated by Unstereotype Alliance members B&Q, Cadbury and Channel 4, the five-part series hopes to address some of these barriers and help support the sharing of knowledge to make faster progress on diversifying the industry. 

Claire Low, Senior Marketing Director, Cadbury, explained: “ Diversity and inclusion should never be seen as a competitive advantage and the more we can all widely share our lessons and best practice, the sooner advertising and society at large can reap the benefits.”

Clare Peters, Client Strategy & Comms Partner, Channel 4 added: “Latest data from our Mirror on the Industry report shows that whilst we’re making gains on representation in UK TV ads, portrayals are often tokenistic and stereotypical. This series tackles this issue by delving deeper into the stereotypes at play in UK culture, the impact they can have on people’s lives and crucially, the steps we can all take to dismantle them.”

The bite-size ten-minutes episodes feature intimate conversations across five key themes. These are: ‘Lived Experiences’, ‘How to Achieve Authentic Representation’, ‘The Power of Cultural Nuance’, ‘Driving Positive Social Change’ and ‘The Future of Diversity in Advertising’. 

The series features actionable insights from leading experts including Rania and Trevor Robinson OBE, CEO and ECD respectively of Quiet Storm, Shani Dhanda, disability activist and Naomi Sesay, head of creative diversity at Channel 4. 

Brands featured include Diageo, Cadbury, and Unilever while agency voices are from IPG, adam&eveDDB, Kantar, Elvis, RSA Films and Omnicom. Former England football star, Rachel Yankey, OBE also opens up on her own experiences as one of the first professional female footballers in England.  

The aim of the series is to offer audiences an informal, inspiring, and personal set of learnings into progressive and unstereotypical storytelling. 

Keith Weed, Chair of the Unstereotype Alliance UK Chapter, explained: “The insights and lessons shared make this compelling and necessary viewing for anyone working in the advertising, creative and marketing industries today. Diversity in advertising is no longer an extra, it must be seen as business as usual, and this content series is a vital resource to help advance this agenda.”

To view the Conversations for Change series, click here.

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