Best Practice for ED&I in advertising campaigns

Equality, diversity and inclusion must be considered both in front of and behind camera.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion affects every stage of creating work, from the initial client brief through to the final advertising material. Everyone should be aware of all verbal and written language used.

First steps

We advise all clients and agencies to discuss and review their equality, diversity and inclusion policies and agree to these prior to any work being briefed to the agency or third party production partners being engaged.

ED&I affects every stage of creating work, from the initial client brief through to the final advertising material. Everyone should be aware of all verbal and written language used.

Behind camera:

  • Clients
  • Agencies
  • Production companies
  • Post-production and sound companies
  • Photographers
  • Third party suppliers

Front of camera:

  • Acting talent and Voice-overs
  • Scenes/situations being portrayed
  • Creative brief
  • Agencies and client should discuss cultural insights and include these within the brief.
  • Briefing creative teams
  • Teams should be made aware that ED&I must be considered within their creative solutions.
  • Be aware of stereotyping and unconscious bias.

Scripts approved by agency and client

Care should be taken with regards to language and cultural considerations within the script, how that might be translated onto screen or in imagery, and the cast that you will use to portray it.

Research material

Make sure that ED&I and cultural considerations are taken into account when producing mood boards/films, animatics, photomatics.

Be aware of references being used and how those can unconsciously begin to direct the casting long before production begins.

Script into production:

Production company and any other 3rd party suppliers should be made aware of both the client and agency DE&l policies, and requirement for ED&I, both in front and behind camera.

  • Director treatments should reflect your ED&I requirements and be mindful of pictorial references and unconscious bias.
  • Language and details on the written casting brief must not be incompatible with the anti-discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010 and best practice guidance. 
  • Be aware of protected characteristics.

Casting sessions and recalls:

Throughout the casting process, individuals must not be discriminated against because of their sex, race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins), disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, age, marriage or civil partnership status or pregnancy or maternity (known together as “protected characteristics").

  • be aware of how the cast are spoken to and questions that are asked of them
  • be aware how the shortlist is evaluated
  • be aware how the final cast is presented to the client

Production companies:

Discuss crew ED&I with production company

  • make sure hair and make-up crew are fully trained and briefed on how to deal with acting talent and their specific needs
  • wardrobe – consider cultural wardrobe and sterotyping
  • be aware of language used on the shoot
  • agree a procedure should any ED&I issues arise on set
  • monitor compliance

Post-production and sound production:

  • share your ED&I policy with your third party suppliers and monitor compliance
  • be aware of ED&I when casting and choosing a voice-over

Credit: IPA Production Group.

For questions relation to production please contact Kim@ipa.co.uk

Last updated 12 August 2021