Black Lives Matter (BLM) for marketers

The IPA is committed to nurturing existing talent, monitoring diversity within the industry and championing inclusivity in the workplace.

We at IPA would like to reaffirm our line on this very important social crisis as we believe the conversation must be continued and that as a whole, our industry is going to be, and should be, judged on our actions and not just our words.

Information and resources:

    Inclusion strategies for racial diversity

    Following the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis nearly two months ago, statements of solidarity have flooded the internet and the Black Lives Matter protests have spread across the world and prompted a reassessment of culture.

    In the UK, this came at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has also exposed the health inequalities affecting the BAME community disproportionately, as the recent government studies show.

    The IPA is committed to nurturing existing talent, monitoring diversity within the industry and championing inclusivity in the workplace. We condemn discrimination and violence. We strive for equality, fairness and advancement. In this, we support Black Lives Matter.

    Improving ethnic diversity in the industry has been one of our main goals in recent years, as is evident from our portfolio of activity and the diversity targets we set the industry back in 2016 (two of three targets focus on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic).

    We are starting with two focus areas which include continuing to measure and monitor the entry and progression of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups in the industry and using our voice and influence to facilitate open discussions on diversity and race. Watch the webinar chaired by Karen Blackett OBE on 30 June 2020 with our iList panel

    5 ‘Top Tips’

    1. You don’t need to be from a BAME background, or even have any staff from a BAME background to support the agenda. It’s about truthful allyship to make positive change happen. Team up with clients / suppliers / third parties who are active in this area.

    2. Have a policy on D&I. This will provide guidance for all staff to follow and help avoid discrimination throughout the organisation. Check out ACAS for a free template.

    3. Get staff involved in all aspects of D&I – and listen to them. Pay special attention to your ethnic hires and their career progression as compared to their white colleagues. Promote promising mid-level employees and invest in their training and development.
    4. Introduce mandatory training on ethnic diversity and discrimination. View list of providers below.

    5. Measure and track your ethnicity and gender pay gaps and address any issues which are identified by this analysis; sponsorship programmes are a great way of actively supporting career progression.
      NB There are plans for an expanded IPA Census to gather more data on D&I within agencies.

    Did you know?


    1. Any examples of brands supporting BLM?

      7 ways brands can tangibly support #BlackLivesMatter
    2. Most Black people I know hate the term BAME! What can we use instead?

      BAME over. If Black is the question, BAME is not the answer.
    3. Where do I start in my agency? Any suggestions?

      The starting point is the data, start measuring if you don’t already. Organisations who can help include Creative Equals, Opinium Research, EA Inclusion and Verisiti. If you are an IPA member agency you should already be measuring basic diversity data as part of the IPA Census annually.

      Setting goals or targets is the next step, so that there is public commitment and accountability. Unilever’s mantra is ‘measure what you treasure’ and we like that a lot.

      Check your circle, as June Sarpong says. If you don’t interact with any Black or minority ethnic folks in your personal life chances are that you’ll find it very challenging to do so in the workplace.

      To familiarise yourself with the business case for diversity, check out McKinsey’s latest report Diversity Still Matters.

      If your agency has made Anti-Racism commitments, we want to hear from you so that we can share and amplify the message in the hope that it inspires others.

      Please write to us – [email protected]

    Useful external links



    Training & inspiration

    Race for Equality

    Last updated 01 May 2024