Do brands and agencies need ‘inclusion riders’ too?

March 20, 2018 | Share this article

At this year’s Oscars, Frances McDormand surprised many with her call for ‘inclusion riders’ – actors’ contracts that require the cast and crew be at least 50% from diverse backgrounds. This call to action reinforced the awareness that shutting out marginalised and minority voices makes no sense for business or society.

And now it might be time for ad land to join in. Many brands are focusing on diversity initiatives internally, when it comes to their recruitment and employee development, and it’s seeping into the processes for appointing agencies. It’s starting small – with tender documents asking what proportion of the agency is female, for example – but it’s quite realistic to think that soon there will be a contractual requirement for a certain amount of diversity within agencies.

The only question is whether a push for inclusion will affect what remains a subjective and emotive process. Yes, the procurement team plays a huge role in choosing the agency, but it often still comes down to gut instinct and feel – and will CMOs really be dissuaded from choosing the agency their heart and soul points towards because its diversity credentials are less than stellar?

Hopefully yes, because it’s only a short step from greater diversity in agencies to greater diversity in ads. And that’s a subject on everyone’s minds right now thanks to the ASA and the outcry against gender stereotyping.

Continue reading the full article on the Drum here.