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Industry-wide scheme Brim launches to improve Black representation in marketing

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By Ellen Ormesher | Reporter

April 28, 2021 | 5 min read

A new industry-wide scheme has been launched that aims to improve the representation of Black people in marketing.

Backed by the Advertising Association, Brim (Black Representation in Marketing) is powered by a group of the world’s largest advertisers and agency partners and leading members of the Black community, as well as industry diversity, equity, and inclusion experts.

To mark the launch, Brim has unveiled a framework that is available for free on the Advertising Association’s site. It invites everyone in the industry to review it and to put plans into action to create impactful and long-lasting change.

BRiM logo

Backed by the Advertising Association, Brim is powered by a group of the world’s largest advertisers and agency partners

What is Brim?

  • Brim is a new open-sourced, cross-industry framework that incorporates existing efforts and resources in order to provide principles, commitments and tools to champion fair representation of Black people in marketing.

  • The framework aims to cover the complete marketing journey, starting with creative output, and extending to the ecosystem of partners who create the marketing assets, as well as the core team at the heart of strategic campaign decisions.

  • It also provides examples of commitments that people in organisations, both large and small, should consider adopting, with readily available templates and tools at hand when putting their efforts into practice.

Why is it necessary?

  • According to Brim research, 7 in 10 marketing professionals in the UK understand the need for fairer Black representation, and more than half of marketing professionals have made decisions to increase Black presentation in marketing in the past 12 months.

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  • However, 42% of professionals have not made any decisions to increase Black representation in the past year.

  • While Brim’s launch comes as the number of employees from a non-white background in the industry increased in 2020 – now estimated at 15.3%, up from the 13.7% recorded in 2019 – this year the IPA also wanted at least 15% of people in leadership positions to be from non-white backgrounds. At the C-suite level, 6.4% of roles are currently occupied by individuals from a non-white background, up from the 4.7% in 2019.

  • Research by the IPA also shows that there is a significant difference in expectations of future working practices between young white and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students hoping to enter the industry.

  • Brim hopes that by joining the community, individuals are demonstrating their commitment to a long-term journey and, as a result, will be asked to feed into regular research to measure progress that they or their organization are making in representing Black people fairly. Learnings will be shared publicly, anonymizing the input.

Who is on board?

  • The Brim steering group, who shaped the direction of the initiative and played a crucial role in developing the framework, is made up of brands including BrainLabs, Deloitte Digital, Dentsu, Droga5, Facebook, Omnicom Media Group, PepsiCo, Publicis, Shell, TUI Group, Unilever, Universal Pictures, VCCP, Wise and Wunderman Thompson.

  • This group is supported by an advisory panel made up of the Black community and industry diversity, equity and inclusion experts, including Ali Hannan, Amina Razaq, Amir Malik, Bejay Mulenga, Dara Lynch, Dinah Williams, Ete Davies, Julian Douglas, June Sarpong, Leila Siddiqi, Rob Scotland, Sabrina Clarke-Okwubanego, Sammi Vaughan, Seun Shobande, Sharon Lloyd-Barnes, Sophia Haynes and Yemi Jackson.

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