• Publish Date: Jul 04, 2022

Unstereotype Alliance celebrates 5th Anniversary at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Monday 20th June

On the opening day of the festival we marked a momentous occasion at the WPP Beach - our fifth anniversary! Having launched at Cannes in 2017 with 24 members, we celebrated our +867% growth, the launch of 12 national chapters across 5 continents and the continuous improvement of Unstereotype Metric scores among Unstereotype Alliance members. 

During the event Sara Denby, Head of the Unstereotype Alliance Secretariat, noted the achievements of the global membership and the national chapters, and underscored the ongoing criticality of our collective work. A virtual address from Sima Bahous, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Executive Director of UN Women and Chair of the Unstereotype Alliance, was screened alongside reflections from Vice Chairs Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever, Andrew Clarke, Global President of Mars Wrigley and Philippe Krakowsky, Chief Executive Officer of IPG.

A short 'behind the scenes' film of the upcoming global B2C campaign ‘Say nothing, change nothing’ was previewed before Stephan Loerke, Chief Executive Officer of the World Federation of Advertisers, led a panel discussion with Deputy Vice Chairs Aline Santos, Chief Brand Officer and Chief Equity Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Unilever, and Heide Gardner, Global Culture Officer at IPG, along with Jennifer Remling, Global Chief People Officer at WPP, creative partners on the campaign. The group discussed the importance of mobilising public action, and engaging employees worldwide as influential advocates. 

Deputy Vice Chair Mitch Oliver, Global Purpose Vice-President at Mars Incorporated, shared closing remarks and encouraged members to accelerate momentum as we move into the next phase of the Alliance. The session concluded with a presentation of heartfelt thanks to Heide Gardner who will be retiring as IPG’s Global Culture Officer this year. Heide has been instrumental in the work and success of the Alliance since its formation and those present showed their gratitude with a standing ovation.

Tuesday 21st June

The Unstereotype Alliance took to the Debussy Theatre in the Palais on Tuesday 21st June with a main stage activation – ‘It’s not the time to pat ourselves on the back’. The 30-minute session combined a celebration of fantastic work from Unstereotype Alliance members around the world who successfully challenged harmful stereotypes, alongside a clear message to the industry that our work is far from done.

TV presenter, diversity expert and award-winning author June Sarpong guided the audience through a series of thought-provoking live poll questions and challenged them to reflect on their unstereotyping efforts, before introducing an array of case studies that exemplified the need for a diverse and inclusive approach to advertising content.

June then welcomed transgender model, activist, and media commentator Munroe Bergdorf to the stage, where the pair discussed the criticality of representation and authenticity in advertising, and how the industry can break down the harmful stereotypes that hold society back from progressing towards equality.

We sincerely thank our members for their support in bringing together this event and the inspirational case studies, in particular Ogilvy Chicago for the activation concept and colleagues at IPG’s Craft UK who produced the fantastic main stage assets, and ITB Worldwide for securing our incredible main stage talent.

Thank you to our case study contributors:
- Dove (Unilever) – #ShowUs
- Maltesers (Mars) - ‘Lighter Side’
- Dove Men+Care (Unilever) – ‘Off the court’
- Ruffles Mexico (PepsiCo) - ‘Unleash your flavour’
- Nando’s South Africa - ‘You People’
- M&M (Mars) – ‘Time for a change’
- Guinness Japan (Diageo) – ‘Liberty Fields’
- Cadbury (Mondel─ôz International) - Crème Egg ‘Golden Goobilee’

Also on Tuesday, in partnership with UM, Sara Denby took part in a panel discussion chaired by CNBC journalist Julia Boorstin alongside Natasha Byrne, Managing Partner of Client Services at UM Worldwide, Hermon Ghermay, Global Chief Culture Officer, IPG Mediabrands, Dawn Reese, President, Mediabrands Content Studio USA, and Mitch Oliver.

Speakers candidly shared their experiences on unstereotyping, inclusion and culture change and reflected on how far the industry has progressed. They also quoted findings from the recently published Women and Heritage research to highlight the struggles faced by women of minority ethnic heritage in the UK when it comes to prejudice, stereotyping and visibility in the media. The conversation reiterated the power of collective action to drive the industry forward.

Thank you to UM for hosting this inspiring session.

Wednesday 22nd June

In conversation with GoogleGetty Images, Carmichael Lynch and Inkwell Beach Cannes, the Unstereotype Alliance exposed the link between harmful masculinities and attitudes towards women. In this important conversation, we profiled some of the most concerning data from the Unstereotype Alliance’s Gender Equality Attitudes study and revealed some ‘hidden’ insights about gender attitudes. Panelists discussed how this shows up in advertising content and visual messaging, and shared what the industry can do to step up and drive positive social change.

The panel was moderated by Sara Denby, Head of the Unstereotype Alliance Secretariat, and was joined by esteemed panelists:

- Carol Frazer Haynesworth, Head of Multicultural Strategy and Inclusion (Carmichael Lynch)
- Jason Klein, Head of Human Truth (Google)
- Dr Rebecca Swift, VP, Global Head of Creative Insights (Getty Images)

Thank you to Inkwell Beach and Getty Images for hosting this important session.

The festival provided an opportunity for insightful conversations with representatives from many of our National Chapters who had made the trip to Cannes. We discussed plans across the chapters and the importance of eradicating nuanced and culturally driven stereotypes. It was wonderful to see so many members of the Alliance speaking at sessions throughout the week, with multiple mentions of the Unstereotype Alliance and our mission. The impact of amplifying our collective message in this way, on such an important global stage, is an invaluable push for progress across the industry.

We thank all members and allies who joined us at the event and who followed our activities online and via our social channels. We congratulate you all for the fantastic achievements and impact of the Unstereotype Alliance to date. There is much to be proud of and, as Sara Denby said in her opening address, the best is yet to come.