It goes without saying: these are difficult times. Recent events – including the pandemic and numerous injustices that have been committed against Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) – have weighed heavy on us all. We as a society are at an inflection point, and it’s time for us as marketers to get off the sidelines.
As Bob Liodice (CEO of the Association of National Advertisers) reminded the industry back in 2017, “There is no more important asset for a marketer than the brand. Brands are the basis for marketers’ relationships with customers.” We as agency partners are entrusted to build, nurture, grow and strengthen our client’s brands.
It is essential we protect our brands from anything that could disrupt or threaten their relationships with customers — relationships that should be based on trust and positive experience. In today’s climate, this is more important than ever.
Consumers have come to expect transparency from the brands they support. They want shared values and expect brands to use their platforms to speak out on important social issues of our time. In a recent survey, Edelman concluded that consumers want – and expect – brands to step up and play a central role in addressing racial injustice in this country.
As consumer demand for brands to step up increases, we’re calling on the industry and our client base to take a moment for self-reflection: are we holding ourselves, our media partners and our brands accountable? Not because it’s an opportune moment to do so, but because it is fundamentally the right thing to do. It’s time to ask: can we be doing more to create change?