The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

If You Want To Know How Crap Adland Is At D&I, Look At This …

Adland goes on a lot about diversity and inclusion.

They write about it.

They talk about it.

They even have people who have job titles about it.

But is anything changing? Really, properly, truly changing?

Is the ad industry a more open place for people who come from different backgrounds?

Is the ad industry giving more positions of authority and power to people of colour?

Or women?

Is the ad industry paying the same base salaries to people from different backgrounds?

Don’t know … but I doubt it.

Now this is not an anti-adland rant, I love this industry and still believe it can do a lot. However it is an anti-superficial claim rant that, sadly, adland still seems to love doing.

I am sure there are people who can inundate me with facts about how things are improving.

Well there’s 2 answers to that.

1. It’s not hard when it’s from a low-base.

2. It’s not happening quick enough.

And one thing really highlighted this fact to me and it’s this …

Cocoa Girl is THE FIRST magazine in the UK specifically for little girls of colour.

The first!!!

Think about that for a second??

Prior to this, little girls of colour had NOTHING to represent them, reflect them or inspire them in a way where they could feel they are already good enough.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Cocoa Girl wasn’t created by a publisher or a research company or an ad agency that talks up their D&I policies in the media every second of the day … but a Mum, Serlina, and her 6 year old daughter, Faith.

It’s absolutely brilliant – they also do one for little boys of colour as well – but that is not the only reasons we should all support it and champion it.

You see apart from the fact Serlina and Faith have just shamed our whole industry in terms of spotting D&I issues and doing something about them … they’ve also reminded us WHY D&I is one of the only things that might be able to save our industry from disaster.

Too many people in adland still think their reality reflects everyone’s else’s reality.

Of course it’s bollocks … and yet we keep on doing the same thing over and over again.

Hiring the same people.
Putting the same types of people in power.
Acting like everything is fine when everything isn’t.

What Serlina and Faith have done with Cocoa Girl is show our blinkered blindness.

Our inability to see what is not in our bubbles.

The act of being deliberately blind and ignorant.

We – as an industry – should have done this.

We – as an industry – should have supported this.

We – as an industry – didn’t.

If you have any desire to make any difference, you then can start by signing up for a subscription to Cocoa Girl.

Then you can help get clients to sponsor the amazing Boys Smile project.

Then you can show this post to your colleagues and discuss how this is what really adding to culture means.

Thank you Serlina. Thank you Faith.

25 Comments so far
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Well said Robert.
Well done Serlina and Faith.
We have subscribed for both titles.

Comment by Mary Bryant

That’s great Mary. They’re a great read and it’s something we all need to invest in to understand more. As we are seeing everywhere – especially in the US – everyday.

Comment by Rob

Excellent post Rob but with the events of the last 24 hours, the shame adland should be experiencing has been overshadowed by the escalation of US government and police department prejudice.

Comment by Pete

Absolutely mate. I assume you saw that prick on Fox News justifying the murder of two unarmed people – protesting against Police prejudice and brutality – by a 17 year old, white kid with a semi-automatic rifle?

It’s end of days horrific shit.

Comment by Rob

Yes. Despicable.

Comment by Pete

It is amazing how many industry bodies talk about their commitment to driving change but achieve so little. That a mother and her daughter can produce an excellent solution to what has obviously been a long term problem, highlights how empty the industries words are.

I will be sharing this post and the subscription details of Cocoa Girl. Thank you Robert.

Comment by George

Is there any industry that has been around for 10 years+ that has had a major change in the make-up of its employees and senior leadership? Major change being a swing of over 35%.

Comment by Bazza

The first magazine for black girls? Great work by Serlina and Faith but he UK needs to stop trying to be like the US. Everything is bad and broken here.

Comment by Bazza

I frankly didn’t beleive this.I was sure I’d seen magazines like this decades ago but, having fired up Bing, I’ve come to the conclusion that they were American imports.

This must be down to data-driven management in the magazine industry that saw a relatively small market but didn’t have the brains to think that capturing the majority of that market (plus a whole load of other readers) would be worth doing financially and in terms of talent development, not to mention culturally.

Comment by John

Kinda like my post yesterday regarding the sushi roll.

The data said no.
So the big companies didn’t bother.
And culture created a solution that the dinosaurs will soon follow.

Even more interestingly, you use Bing???

Comment by Rob

Kinda like I was drawing out the theme.

Comment by John

isnt bing for pervs?

Comment by andy@cynic

No, it’s an homage to you. Why do I even bother?

Comment by John

No one has an answer for you on that John.

Comment by DH


Comment by John

John rolls his own way.
Excellent post.
I expect Unilever will sponsor the mag very soon

Comment by northern

Yep. Probably Dove, because all women should love who they are … though could no one mention that pesky skin-whitening cream that also make so they can profit from putting women of colour in cultural jail.

Comment by Rob

unilever are a bunch of fucking wankers.

Comment by andy@cynic

There wasn’t a dedicated magazine for young women of color? That’s so depressing.

Comment by DH

Love what they’ve done.

Comment by DH

💛💛💛 cocoa girl.

Comment by Jemma King

I’ll buy you a sub.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Sure Jem would rather be hungry.

Comment by Bazza

you petty fucking prick.
good work.

Comment by andy@cynic

[…] wrote about this recently when I found out Cocoa Girl – the magazine for little girls of colour in the UK – was […]

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