Marketing Featured APAC

P&G to ‘improve’ accessibility of advertising across APAC

Singapore – Multinational consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble (P&G) has announced that it is committed to improve accessibility of advertising across consumers in Asia-Pacific by the year 2024. These involve advertising in social media and across websites.

The new commitments by the company are part of P&G’s new commitments aimed toward advancing equality and inclusion across Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.

The company has also committed to spend a cumulative total of US$300m by deliberately working with women-owned and women-led businesses across the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region, from the year 2021 to 2025.

In addition, it has also committed to achieve equal representation of female directors behind the camera for the company’s brand advertisements in Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa, by 2024.

Magesvaran Suranjan, president for APAC, Middle East, and Africa at P&G, said, “At P&G, we remain fully committed to creating a world where equal access and opportunity to learn, grow, succeed, and thrive are available to everyone. We believe in the power of our differences and the impact we can make when we come together, united by our shared values and purpose.”

He added, “We are making great progress, yet we know there is more work to be done. So we are announcing bold new commitments and expanding existing actions which will enable us to do more. We will continue to use the voice of our company and our brands in forums such as #WeSeeEqual to drive discussion and actions on the issues that matter.”

The new commitments were made during the company’s fourth annual #WeSeeEqual summit for the region, which saw participation from distinguished advocates and personalities from the private and public sectors who came together to discuss the challenges that society faces on equality and inclusion, and how different stakeholders can accelerate progress in the new normal.

Platforms Featured ANZ

Google AU launches stock photo library to improve skin representation

Sydney, Australia – Tech giant Google in Australia–in collaboration with PHD, Essence, Nine and Pedestrian Group–have launched its newest campaign in the form of a stock photo library to better represent the diverse skin tones globally.

These new images, with the help of Google’s new Pixel 6 phone and its equitable camera technology, will improve representation of all skin tones across some of Australia’s biggest and most influential media channels, and will be included in Refinery29 Australia’s ‘We Are Many’ Image Collection, in partnership with Getty Images.

Aisling Finch, senior director of marketing, and diversity, equity and inclusion council chair for Google Australia and New Zealand, said, “Google’s mission is about ‘universal’ access to information, so our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has been in our company DNA from the beginning. The new Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones are designed around individual nuances, and specifically to better photograph diverse skin tones.”

She added, “To bring this to life, it made sense to collaborate with Nine and Pedestrian Group to equip journalists with a new image library with greater representation of Australia’s rich diversity, beautifully photographed on Pixel.”

Meanwhile, Matt Rowley, CEO of Pedestrian Group, commented, “Pedestrian Group is proud of the importance we place on the value of inclusivity and diversity. This collaboration with Google will help provide new perspectives and visually represent what our talented teams on sites like Refinery29 Australia are passionate about every day with initiatives like We Are Many.”

The story behind the images and the partnership is brought to life through print wraps, native articles, a digital immersive experience and a suite of behind the scenes videos. 

Media, marketers and designers can access and use these new images via the We are Many online collection.

Marketing Featured APAC

PRCA APAC unveils equity, diversity, and inclusion committee

Singapore – Following the association’s expanded presence in Asia-Pacific, the Public Relations and Communications Association Asia-Pacific (PRCA APAC) has announced the formation of a new committee dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Its purpose is to increase diversity, inclusion, and equity across all levels of seniority in the Asia Pacific’s communications profession.

Furthermore, the committee will host events, drive industry initiatives, and facilitate consultations with organizations and individuals who wish to contribute to a more diverse and inclusive communications profession in Asia.

Said committee will be led by Charu Srivastava, senior director at Redhill, while Susie Bates, senior vice president at IPG DXTRA will take the committee’s vice-chair role. 

“Through this mandate, we are committed to creating a real impact on the industry and making it a better place for future generations. Discrimination and inequality in our industry goes beyond racial and gender biases – age, sexual orientation and even the university you studied at can be a cause for discrimination,” Srivastava said, regarding the new role.

She added, “It is imperative to bring these issues to the fore and address them through open and honest conversations, and I look forward to working with a very passionate committee to achieve our goals.”

Committee members include Natashia Jaya, group account director at Allison+Partners; Iknoor Kaur, senior manager for corporate brand and communications at SPAG; Sai Roshini Daswani, director for client strategy for APAC at Sinclair; Vernia Lim, head of public relations at JLL; Lee Nugent, regional director at Archetype; and Tom Evrard, senior managing director at FTI Consulting.

“The last 18 months has inspired renewed enthusiasm for meaningful change, so it’s critical we don’t lose the momentum now. As always, the challenge is to translate talk to action. Each PRCA APAC Equality, Diversity & Inclusion committee member brings a unique perspective and acumen to the table. I very much look forward to their expertise and support as we drive a more diverse and inclusive PR industry in Asia,” said Tara Munis, head of PRCA APAC.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Close to half of ad agencies in SEA admit to never checking ‘diversity’ in client briefs

Singapore – Despite diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) being prominent across media and marketing, about 40% of ad agencies based in the Southeast Asia region admit to never checking client specification on DE&I before creating creative work for them, insights from independent global marketing consultancy R3 note.

According to the consultancy’s latest report spanning 300 video advertisements broadcast in the region, there are lapses in regards to gender representation in these advertisements. About 33% of the sample ads have shown negative stereotypes on body image, 38% have portrayed negative stereotypes of gender characteristics, and 44% have portrayed negative stereotypes of gender roles.

For Shufen Goh, co-founder and principal at R3, there should be a greater need for more people from diverse backgrounds in control of storytelling and production or we risk telling stories that are one-dimensional, adding that with 60% of agencies reported not having a formal process to ensure that diversity is addressed in client advertising is already considered a ‘red flag’.

“Marketers can play a positive role and encourage greater change in the narratives being developed by requiring diversity among creative directors and producers and demanding more inclusive organizational design,” Goh stated.

Despite the negative connotations, there are still brands who have persisted in creating campaigns that respect gender representation.

Based on the review, Kotex, Avon, Colgate, Apple, and Nike were five brands with the best gender representation in advertising in Southeast Asia. All brands scored positively in areas of avoiding objectification, positive body image portrayals, and positive portrayal of gender roles and characteristics. The best performing advertising addressed female empowerment, body positivity, ethnic and economic diversity, and sexual orientation.

In addition, female empowerment has been the focus of diversity initiatives across agencies in the region, though most activities reported were limited to educational and culture building exercises.

“If we look at progress through a regional lens, change is being made. There is greater representation across gender and ethnicity in the workforce, and more equality in agency leadership positions. Now it’s time for marketers and agencies to come together and shift the topic of diversity from one of corporate culture and optional participation to tangible process and policy,” Goh concluded.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Creative professionals unite to promote diversity in adland via new #onlyoneintheroom collective

Sydney, Australia – Professionals across the advertising industry in Australia, representing more than 20 cultural backgrounds, have joined forces to launch #onlyoneintheroom collective – a platform designed to create a more diverse advertising community.

Australia deems to be the most diverse country in the world, with 30% of people born overseas. However, this is not reflected in the adland, as only 16% of people in advertising are culturally diverse and often, they are the only ones in the room.

The #onlyoneintheroom aims to showcase homogeneity of the ad industry and rally industry professionals, advertising and media agencies, and industry bodies, as well as brands and clients, to partner on initiatives to tackle the diversity issue. 

Additionally, the collective comes with a fashion parody film featuring real diverse industry talents modeling a line of merch branded #onlyoneintheroom, highlighting the statement ‘It’s a trend we want to end’. The film directs to, where people can join the movement, find out more about current initiatives, and buy the merch, with all proceeds going towards funding future projects.

“Our industry can’t correct imbalances overnight, but changemakers are emerging. This is a rallying cry for those who want to act,” said Ant Melder, creative partner and founder of Cocoa Coffee Gunpowder, and co-founder of #onlyoneintheroom.

Meanwhile, Avish Gordhan, executive creative director at M&C Saatchi, and co-founder of #onlyoneintheroom, shared that whether it’s by offering a voice, recognizing the diverse people that are already in the industry, collectively bringing more young diverse talent in, or even working on eliminating biases that can hold diverse people back, they are looking to partner with like-minded professionals and brands seeking tangible action.

BMF’s Group Creative Director and #onlyoneintheroom’s Co-Founder Pia Chaudhuri said that with the support of other like-minded folks, they are hopeful there will be real change in the near future. 

“Ultimately, a truly representative advertising community can only enrich our work and workplaces, and speak more effectively to a diverse Australian audience,” added Chaudhuri.

The #onlyoneintheroom has already garnered support and secured two partnerships. With marketing consulting company TrinityP3, the collective is developing a DE&I Index, which is designed to give agencies an indication of their own equity and inclusion practices by benchmarking against the general population. Drawing on expertise and knowledge from industry and academia, the index will help organizations focus on initiatives and programs to improve their results.

Platforms Featured Global

Facebook CMO steps down

United States – The incumbent chief marketing officer of Facebook, Antonio Lucio took to their own social media platform the announcement of his resignation, which will be effective Sept. 18. 

Lucio said that his decision to step down was due to his desire to refocus his time on advocating for causes of diversity and inclusion, issues which have demanded greater attention in the past few months in the United States. 

“Given the historical inflection point we are in as a country regarding racial justice, I have decided to dedicate 100% of my time to diversity, inclusion, and equity,” wrote Lucio.

In May, a series of protests for racial justice began in the US when African-American George Floyd was killed by a white police officer during an arrest in Minneapolis city. 

Lucio said, “‘Although these issues have been core to my personal purpose for many years, and they were an important element of my work, I want to make them my sole focus.” 

Come September, Lucio will have served a total of two years on Facebook. In his post, he recounted the projects that the company has launched under his leadership and said that although there is “still a lot of work to be done, [there] is a strong foundation from which to build.”

“The work and progress made over the last two years [are] all due and thanks to [the team]: “More Together” for Facebook app, “It’s Between You” for WhatsApp, the Instagram anti-bullying platform, the launch of Messenger Rooms, “Never Alone,” “Born in Quarantine” and the launch of a new identity system for the corporate brand.”

Expressing his confidence to the team ahead, he wrote, “This team is ready to deliver its best work yet.”

Meanwhile, Facebook said that they support Lucio’s decision. 

“Antonio did incredible work telling our story during a transformative period for the company, “ a spokesperson said.

“[Facebook is] grateful for his enormous contributions and wish him well in his next chapter.”