Publicis Groupe x The Marketing Society | Uncomfortable Conversations ‘Can tokenism lead to representation?’

  • May 23, 2024

Yesterday we held our Uncomfortable Conversations breakfast in partnership with The Marketing Society, hosted at The Pregnant Man, Chancery Lane.

The topic of discussion was ‘Can tokenism lead to representation?’ and what an interesting discussion that was.

The key takeaways were:

  • Authenticity – Representation requires truly understanding different customer groups, with advertising that tells customer stories in a genuine way. Diversity in the creative output via partnering with diverse voices and organisations, but also within the internal marketing teams, is essential.
  • Power – Giving up power and elevating underrepresented voices into leadership roles is crucial for driving systemic change within organisations. Nurturing inclusive cultures, providing mentorship, and supporting career development opportunities for underrepresented groups is what creates a sense of belonging.
  • Conquering fear – The fear of making mistakes should not deter brands from making efforts towards more inclusive and representative advertising if there’s a willingness to learn and course-correct.
  • Opportunity – There are so many untapped opportunities that come with genuine representation. Catering to visually or hearing-impaired audiences, age groups, body types and varying affluence can unleash new markets for brands. Further to this, utilising AI tools in the right way can help identify unconscious biases that humans might otherwise miss.
  • The future – There was a resounding sense of optimism in the room about the future of diversity in advertising and communications. The consensus was progress has been made and the industry is heading in the right direction, but there is still work to be done.

We thank our panelists, Marcos Angelides, Jeff Fang, Jaswinder Sandhu, Emma Harris & our CEO Sophie Devonshire⚡️ for their invaluable insights and for facilitating this important conversation.

For more insights into the topic, you can download Spark Foundry’s latest Insights Accelerated report below.

Download Spark Foundry’s latest Insights Accelerated report

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