Diversity and inclusion: from speech to action

The continued wave of demonstrations over the past few weeks has forced the world to slow its pace once again and reflect on all issues related to inclusion and diversity and how it is increasingly difficult to bypass issues that affect the everyday of many of us. More than ever, the time has come to pay attention to the wishes and needs of those who are also a significant part of our audiences. The spotlight is, definitely, aimed at brands and the truth is that, more than inclusive and magnanimous speeches, they are all expected – and not just those exposed to wider audiences – to act proactively and accordingly. Naturally, the way ahead is still long and includes multiple obstacles. At the same time, we should also reflect – quickly, but deeply – on the motivations for change itself. It is the only way to be effective in the message and consequent in the effectiveness of such change. The most current example of this (new?) paradigm is the ‘Stop Hate for Profit’, a movement that brought together global brands like Adidas, Best Buy, Unilever or Coca-Cola, to call for a generalized boycott of the social media Facebook (and also Instagram), for its inability or unwillingness to block or ban content that incites hate, racism or violence. And, despite the rather questionable timing, as it coincides with a period of major cuts in advertising budgets, what is sad and disturbing is watching Mark Zuckerberg’s almost indifferent reaction – basically, for two main reasons: (i) the fact that large advertisers represent only 20% of its revenues; and (ii) the belief that these same advertisers will want to return quickly to places where they have been happy.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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