Top Creatives Launch #OnlyOneInTheRoom Collective To Tackle Diversity In Adland

Top Creatives Launch #OnlyOneInTheRoom Collective To Tackle Diversity In Adland
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

While Australia is the most diverse country in the world, with 30 per cent of people born overseas, this is not reflected in the advertising industry.

Only 16 per cent of people in advertising are culturally diverse and often, they are the only one in the room.

A collective of professionals from across the industry, representing more than 20 cultural backgrounds, have joined forces to launch #onlyoneintheroom – a platform designed to create a more diverse advertising community.

The collective launches with a fashion parody film featuring real diverse industry talent modelling a line of merch branded #onlyoneintheroom. The aim is to highlight the homogeneity of the ad industry and rally industry professionals, advertising and media agencies, industry bodies, as well as brands and clients to partner on initiatives to tackle the diversity issue, with the aim of making it ‘the trend we want to end’.

Ant Melder, creative partner and founder, Cocoa Coffee Gunpowder and #onlyoneintheroom co-founder said, “our industry can’t correct imbalances overnight, but changemakers are emerging. This is a rally-cry for those who want to act.”

Avish Gordhan, executive creative director M&C Saatchi and #onlyoneintheroom co-founder, said: “whether it’s by offering a voice, recognising the diverse people that are already in the industry, collectively bringing more young diverse talent in, or even working on eliminating biases that can hold diverse people back, we’re looking to partner with like-minded professionals and brands seeking tangible action.”

#onlyoneintheroom has already garnered support and secured two partnerships.

With TrinityP3, the collective is developing a DE&I Index, designed to give agencies an indication of their own equity and inclusion practices by benchmarking against the general population. Drawing on expertise and knowledge from industry and academia, the index will help organisations focus on initiatives and programs to improve their results.

Additionally, the collective is collaborating with B&T to launch the Award for Diversity at this year’s B&T Awards!

An Australian advertising industry first, this will celebrate and recognise both the people and work changing the story for multicultural and under-represented communities.

Pia Chaudhuri, group creative director, BMF and #onlyoneintheroom Co-Founder, said: “This is just a start, but with the support of other like-minded folk, we’re hopeful there will be real change in the near future. Ultimately, a truly representative advertising community can only enrich our work and workplaces, and speak more effectively to a diverse Australian audience.”

The film directs to, where people can join the movement, find out more about current initiatives, and buy the merch, with all proceeds going towards funding future projects.

Find out more at or follow the collective’s work on Instagram @only_one_in_the_room.



Creative Directors: Ant Melder, Pia Chaudhuri and Avish Gordhan

Creative Team: Nadia Ahmad and Ellie Jones

Senior Account Director: Bryan Bryant-Steeds

Producer: Esta Lau

Production Company: Vs. Studio

Director: VERSUS – Jason Sukadana and Tanya Babic

Post Production: Vs. Studio

Sound Production: Otis Studios

Composition: Lukas Farry

Music Supervision: Camille Yaptinchay

Photographer: Elaine Li

PR: Lu Borges

Talent: Agnes Soliven, Am Lall, Basir Salleh, Bryan Bryant-Steeds, Dana Al Habel, Diane Villavieja, Joelle Dulaurens, Rachel Tse, Sid De and Vanessa Akem


Please login with linkedin to comment

adland diversity B&T Awards Diversity and inclusion

Latest News

QUT Business School Launches “Make it Real” Via BCM Group
  • Campaigns

QUT Business School Launches “Make it Real” Via BCM Group

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Business School has launched a new brand platform, developed by BCM Group, built to encourage prospective students to upskill, invest in themselves, and nurture their inner entrepreneur.

Making A Name For Your Brand In A New Market: Tips For Launching A Campaign Globally
  • Opinion

Making A Name For Your Brand In A New Market: Tips For Launching A Campaign Globally

Jacqueline Gonzales [featured image] is the Head of Global Marketing at Squarespace. In this piece, she shares her best pieces of advice for launching a campaign globally. It’s estimated that we see between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. In today’s digital landscape we’re constantly bombarded by so many different brand messages from every […]


by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Acast Announces New Podcast ‘The Elements’
  • Media

Acast Announces New Podcast ‘The Elements’

From the audio producer of The Teacher’s Pet comes The Elements, a new Acast Creator Network podcast hosted by Thredbo survivor Stuart Diver. The Elements is a  podcast that journeys into the heart of surviving a natural disaster and will be hosted and distributed by the creator-first podcast company Acast as part of the Acast Creator […]