The outcry over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor (shown above), Ahmaud Arbery and other Black men and women has forced formerly “apolitical” brands and advertising agencies to reflect on how they should respond to the racism pandemic, both internally and externally, reports Adweek.
The Adweek post states: “Many participated in #BlackOutTuesday, several have opened their purses and donated millions to causes committed to addressing injustice and police abolition, and some have even made Juneteenth a company holiday. But Black advertising professionals want more than symbolism and one-off actions.
“Nathan Young, group strategy director at Minneapolis-based Periscope, lives four blocks away from where Floyd was asphyxiated by now-dismissed police officer Derek Chauvin and was compelled to do more. A weeklong effort resulted in over 600 signatories (see the full list of signatories here) representing Black talent from nearly every major agency in the country coming together as a collective to pen an open letter, “A Call for Change: Black professionals in advertising demand urgent action from agency leadership,” that outlines the steps agencies can take to make the industry more equitable.”
“As loud as these protests are, it is impossible to overstate the pain that has been felt by your Black colleagues as the still-fresh wounds from Ferguson, Baltimore and countless other flashpoints of racial violence were once again re-opened,” the letter states. “We hurt because we have seen this movie before. We hurt because we expect that, once again, when the streets have cleared and the hashtags have been retired, little will be done to address the systemic racism and economic injustice we face each and every day.”
The letter provides 12 steps agency leadership needs to take immediately.
Photo: Louisville police fatally shot unarmed EMT Breonna Taylor eight times in her own home. More here.