Talk us through the return of Create Not Hate in 2020.
The first time round it was really solely around getting kids into the ad industry and how much talent was out there. This time was the same but it was spurred on by the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. I wanted to react to what had happened and was happening in a positive way and the best thing I could offer was bringing back Create Not Hate, so we could utilise the talent that’s out there to fight racism in a positive way.
When you created the initiative in 2007, what was the response from the public & industry like at the time?
It was positive, many of the mentors were friends and when I made a call they all participated; but outside of me pushing it, we didn’t get traction or sustainability. This time around it’s been much better and I have even clients wanting to be involved. The creative directors who have been involved too have been very engaged and they can see how much talent there is out there. This time around we can make it more sustainable with Rania and everyone else at Quiet Storm and some of the amazing partners who have been involved.
How did the response in 2020 compare?
This time we’ve had some really great media coverage and a lot more people got involved positively. The films have been aired on Channel 4, national newspapers have covered it and there has been a lot more focus on the kids this time around. It also doesn’t seem to be dying off with more work coming out now. It feels like Create Not Hate hasn’t lost momentum – people are still talking about it. I’ve seen a lot of initiatives in the ad industry run out of steam and hopefully this won’t happen with Create Not Hate. Our industry needs to have a pipeline of diverse talent.
What set-backs is Create Not Hate facing as an organisation & how can people support?
The only real set back or thing that is holding us back at the moment is securing funding so that we can ensure that Create Not Hate is sustainable. We do have some brilliant partners this time though and we’re talking to the right people about funding so it’s looking good. When I have ex-clients as excited as I am about the initiave, it really cements we are going in the right direction.
Create Not Hate accepts mentors from the advertising industry. How does someone become a mentor?
How have you been able to adapt the initiative under Covid-19 restrictions for filming?
It’s been difficult but we have managed by having great teams around us. We’ve followed rules around keeping distances, wearing masks and sterilising kit. The event we did at the Electric Cinema back in August was managed with military precision – If it was down to me it would be terrible but luckily I have some smart people around me!
Unfortunately, the reality is that we are still discussing the same issues that were being highlighted in 2007 when the campaign launched. How have you seen the creative approach change since then?
Everyone is trying to do their best. I’ve never met an out an out racist person who doesn’t see the worth in this. I do see a lot of positivity as in the past I wouldn’t have had a lot of the conversations that I have had. It’s just a matter of going that extra mile and seeing what people can do but it is hard right now because advertising is trying to survive after the financial implications of Covid. It’s up to us to change the industry in a positive way so that the ad industry is a true reflection of the people it is reaching and not just Oxford grads.
To find out more about Create Not Hate and how you can get involved with the initiative click here.