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London advertisers to increase diversity

City Hall and Transport for London (TfL) recently launched a competition to improve diversity in advertising across the TfL network. The winner will receive £500,000 worth of advertising space on the network.

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Transport for London has launched a new competition inviting advertisers to create diverse campaigns

Brands have been invited to create a campaign to include digital out-of-home (DOOH) billboards that celebrates diverse cultures and communities in the capital.

Deputy mayor of London for social integration, social mobility and community engagement, Debbie Weekes-Bernard says: “Advertising is a powerful force but too often the images we are presented with provide very limited impressions of the people they portray.

“This competition provides a fantastic opportunity for brands to reject generic depictions of minority communities and tell stories that resonate with Londoners who currently may not feel properly represented.

This competition provides a fantastic opportunity for brands to reject generic depictions of minority communities

The advertising space has been provided by TfL and has received sponsorship from JCDecaux UK and Global.

Last year the competition asked agencies to create a campaign that was representative of women in the city.

The winner was Holland & Barrett with its ‘Me.No.Pause’ campaign created by Pablo London which highlighted some of the common issues women going through the menopause face such as a perceived loss of identity and femininity.

According to Lloyd’s Banking Network, whilst ethnic minority representation in advertising has increased from 12% to 25% between 2015 and 2018, more than 60% of adverts primarily feature white people.

It is critical that we continue to represent society fairly, so people from all backgrounds see advertising content that authentically represents them

Despite this increase, Lloyd’s report finds that just 7% of ads position people from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community as the focus of the advertising.

Selma Nicholls, founder of Looks Like Me, a London advertising agency committed to raising the profile of underrepresented groups says: “It is critical that we continue to represent society fairly, so people from all backgrounds see advertising content that authentically represents them.

“It's time to celebrate our brilliant diverse city, create inclusive content that resonates with our audiences, so people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities can proudly say this looks like me."
The closing date for the competition is 12 December 2019 and the winners will be announced in February 2020.

If you have any comments on this story, or would like to get in touch, please email me at zoe@linkpubishing.co.uk or join the conversation on Twitter.


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