Peter Kirk Calls On Brands To ‘Close the Gap’

Peter Kirk Calls On Brands To ‘Close the Gap’
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine
SHARE
THIS



In this opinion piece, head of creative at Pluto Media Peter Kirk calls on CMOs and brands to ‘close the gap’ by encouraging their agencies to better represent Indigenous Australians…

Sometimes I come home shattered, I stand in the middle of the room and I get so frustrated, the moment passes and I know tomorrow I have to get up and do it all over again.

I know this seems dramatic but I want to explain how at times I feel when talking to agency-land regarding the importance of hiring and working with Indigenous creatives.

I’m Indigenous and creative, and love the ad game. I love coming up with ideas and solutions to fix problems. However, I grew up in an Indigenous environment. My home life was full of laughter, music, swearing and everyone speaking their mind, which goes against the traditional agency type.

It’s been a tough journey to try and find that nice balance between knowing when not to speak and understanding the social norms of different agency environments. In an ideal world, we shouldn’t have to, but alas, we have a bit of a way to go.

We all know the stats regarding the lack of diversity in adland and as an Indigenous person, I strongly believe everyone will benefit.

Yet when I meet with people in the advertising industry, whilst I get a genuine feeling of empathy, once I start talking about plans, programs and strategies that cost money to roll out ways to connect with the Indigenous community, I never hear back from them again.

To my knowledge, only three agencies have developed a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

This is where I would love to see brands and people with the authority to make real change get involved.

I would like to develop an industry-wide ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative. Let’s have two or three per cent of Indigenous representation in all agencies by 2022.

What a goal to aim for! And something we can all be proud of.

This is currently in place in other industries. It’s being managed by government departments and other large companies. For more info, visit: https://www.pmc.gov.au/indigenous-affairs/closing-gap.

I think it’s time for our industry to create one. I think it’s time for brands to start making agencies more accountable for their lack of diversity, particularly with the lack of our own Indigenous people working in agencies. After all, we have at our disposal one of the oldest storytelling nations at our disposal.

How do we do this?

It’s actually easier and more straightforward than most people think. When sending out your RFPs, ask the agency the following questions:

  • Do you have a RAP?
  • What is your Indigenous headcount?
  • What programs/plans does your agency have in place to connect with the Indigenous community?
  • Can you showcase your hiring practices to work with more Indigenous staff?
  • What Indigenous communities have you connected with and undertaken programs?

I would simply develop a point scoring system around all this and when agencies fill out their RFPs, they must fill these out as well. There are a lot more and I would certainly love the opportunity to work with any brand/CMO to develop a measurable and compliant Industry ‘Closing the Gap Initiative’ – something that encourages agency land to hire my mob and embrace Indigenous culture.

We have made massive inroads with diversity and getting a spot for women at the table, and quite rightly so, yet there is another group of people that have been overlooked in the communications industry and isn’t it time we accepted everyone and embraced all cultures?

Please login with linkedin to comment

changing the ratio Diversity and inclusion Indigenous Peter Kirk

Latest News

Bankwest Unveils New Work Via Its Bespoke WPP Agency Union
  • Campaigns

Bankwest Unveils New Work Via Its Bespoke WPP Agency Union

Union, WPP AUNZ’s bespoke national group model created to service Bankwest, has launched a new national brand campaign for the visual-style terms and conditions the financial institution developed with the University of WA in a bid to make T&Cs more engaging for customers. Bankwest has rolled out visual terms and conditions for its Bankwest Easy […]

TikTok To Launch Web Series Supported By Screen Australia And Film Victoria
  • Media

TikTok To Launch Web Series Supported By Screen Australia And Film Victoria

The first ever web series to be funded by both Screen Australia and Film Victoria for TikTok, will launch on May 17. Produced by Hayley Adams and Michelle Melky, and directed by Logan Mucha, Scattered is a new queer drama comprised of 38 x 1-minute daily eps. It follows three best friends, Jules, Sami and […]

Schwartz Media To Launch Osman Faruqi’s The Culture Podcast
  • Media

Schwartz Media To Launch Osman Faruqi’s The Culture Podcast

Schwartz Media will extend its audio offering with a new culture podcast. Building on the success of its flagship daily news podcast 7am, and it’s growing arts and culture coverage, Schwartz Media is launching new podcast The Culture at the end of the month. Award-winning journalist, editor of 7am and pop-culture obsessive Osman Faruqi will […]

Attracting Customers With Horseshoe Magnet
  • Advertising
  • Opinion

How To Nurture Your Online Customers And Turn Them Into ‘Brand Evangelists’

Building a connection with existing customers is just as integral to any marketing strategy as winning new ones, but how do we turn customers into spokespeople for our brands? By Peggy de Lange, VP of international expansion at Fiverr It’s a well-known rule of thumb that it costs 5-times more to get a new customer […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Tooheys, 72andSunny, Vice And Gocsy Collaborate On ‘Proudly Ordinary’
  • Campaigns

Tooheys, 72andSunny, Vice And Gocsy Collaborate On ‘Proudly Ordinary’

In the next instalment of the ‘Proudly Ordinary’ campaign for Tooheys Extra Dry, Lion and 72andSunny continue their partnership with work from Vice and Aaron Gocs (Gocsy). Gocsy is a beloved icon of Australian outsider comedy who creates content for Vice and his own broadcast channels. As part of the highly successful ‘Proudly Ordinary’ brand […]

Have You Seen Trevor?
  • Marketing

Have You Seen Trevor?

Love an opinion piece with a mystery headline? You'll love this. Even more so if you're stuffing your gob with cake.

Opinion

by Kathleen Farmilo

Kathleen Farmilo