Open Brings LGBTQ+ Pride to IPG Mediabrands

July 12, 2018 | Share this article

The streets of London were turned into the biggest of parties when Pride in London had its annual parade this month. The annual event is not just members of the LGBTQ+ community flying the rainbow flag, with more companies than ever are supporting the fight for equality.

LGBTQ+ Pride now has more than 50 official partners, ranging from airlines to mobile networks, and a list of over 60 supporters, plus many companies signing up to stamp out prejudice in the workplace. 

Here at IPG Mediabrands we have held had an entire month of events and talks supporting the LGBTQ+ cause, spreading the message both internally and externally to promote inclusion in the workplace and have wider diversity.

Open Month for LGBTQ+ Pride has been amazing and the talks, events and content from our colleagues, clients and partners has showcased how we celebrate diversity as a business. We kicked off our Open Month with a talk from one of the most respected experts in the field of LGBTQ+ studies, Dr. Justin Bengry of Goldsmiths College. Justin was fabulous in presenting the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, framing Pride season in its historical context and underlining the fact that our Open Month initiative marks a very important moment for our business.

The following week we welcomed Gaydio to the building, who did a live broadcast from our office at 42 St John’s Square, London. Gaydio is the top radio station for the LGBTQ+ community in the United Kingdom. It was the UK’s first LGBTQ+ FM radio service when it launched full-time in June 2010 and now around 850,000 listeners per month, making it one of the biggest LGBTQ+ media platforms in the UK! Gaydio travelled down from Manchester to bring us the best music to set the mood ahead of the annual London Pride parade that took place on Saturday 7th July. 

On Wednesday 11th July, we were lucky enough to have Nigel Owens MBE, the international rugby union referee who holds the world record for most test matches refereed. Nigel gave an amazingly honest and inspiring story about his life and how hard it was for him to come out. It was a true testament to everything that Nigel has achieved throughout his inspirational life and gave us all food for thought.  

To round off Open Month, on July 12th we had a packed day starting with a morning of insight and conversation about some of the most important themes and issues that face the LGBTQ+ community in society, and in our industry, today. It was kicked off with a speech, ‘Sexuality in the City’ from Amy Lamé, Night Czar at the London Assembly followed by ‘Standing Up, Though It’s Hard’, a keynote by Benn Moore, LGBTQ+ equality activist. Mark Runacus, President of advertising industry LGBTQ+ network, Pride AM, was in conversation with Caroline Manning, Strategy Director at Initiative and UM’s Head of Insight Michael Brown took us through the latest ‘UK by UM’ research findings surrounding LGBTQ+ identity in the UK. The morning was rounded off with the main event, an inspiring panel discussion chaired by Nicky Kemp, Trends Editor at Campaign magazine, with Munroe Bergdorf, LGBTQ+ equality activist, Daryl Lee, Global CEO of UM and Steve Lok, Global Head of Martech at The Economist.

The day continued and staff enjoyed an afternoon session with Channel 4 and British soap, Hollyoaks’, actor Ross Adams. Channel 4 is a beacon and pioneer for Diversity in the UK and through initiatives such as their ‘Diversity in Marketing Award’ and their ‘Meet the Superhumans’ campaigns, they have ignited debates and helped to redefine the way in which minority groups in UK society are perceived and treated. Through Hollyoaks, Channel 4 has used the programme to challenge social attitudes around sexuality for decades.

The session kicked off with Channel 4’s mission and legacy around Diversity with Damon Lafford, Head of Agency sales. We then heard from Bryan Kirkwood, Executive Producer of Hollyoaks, who enlightened us on the last 23 years of driving visibility for the LGBTQ+ Community through the television show. A private viewing of the documentary on Hollyoaks’ legacy in redefining sexuality norms followed and the session finished with a Q&A with Damon Lafford, Bryan Kirkwood and Hollyoaks’ actor, Ross Adams.

To celebrate the end of Pride and Open Month at IPG Mediabrands, we topped it all off a fantastic Pride party, complete with glitter face painting, a Gin & Tonic and Prosecco bar and a live Spotify DJ.

We’ve had a fantastic Pride Month here at IPG Mediabrands UK, thanks to everyone who took part.