In an open letter, Lief founder Margo Mars proposes changes to Clause H of PIBS Part 1 to ensure #blackouttuesday posts lead to hard commitments
We’re calling for a united stance against all forms of racism in UK Advertising Production by adding terms to Clause H of PIBS Part 1, the UK industry-standard contract.
Thank you to all the directors who have been speaking out about this, we hear you, there is a lot of energy building up. We all want to see this powerful moment to lead to hard commitments, and ensure it is not just performative.
So many of the production companies and agencies that have posted black squares have close to zero Black talent in their companies or on their sets. Often, specifically when choosing directors and in casting, we are seeing and hearing their own bias, not a true reflection of the society we want to live in.
Proposed Anti-Racism Terms
1. Racism, including racist language, will NOT be tolerated. Nor will speaking in ‘code’. Every instance will be made public and reported to the APA, IPA, Client and Agency boards (a formal complaint procedure).
2. Directors’ treatment includes a detailed approach to casting. This is NOT to be changed mid-production. If another territory buys in, a mutual agreement of approach, if different, must be reached.
3. Race will NOT be used in arguments of “product-suitability” or “product identification” (ie. this product doesn’t get used by xxx, or this product doesn’t work for xxx, or our customers won’t be able to identify with xxx).
4. We will NOT shoot the same creative twice with talent from different ethnicities.
We will speak of these terms with our clients, in detail, upfront, for every pitch.
Lief is one of the most diversely represented production companies in the UK because this issue is at the core of our beliefs. Alongside a call to rid the casting process and our sets of racism, the percentage of representation will need to be addressed too. We all need to actively support, nurture and push forward Black, as well as POC talent and crew, and listen to their voices during the creative, and production process.
In practical terms, we will also aim to supply a toolkit of responses to these kinds of incidents from our past experiences - so we can support and give permission to speak up, if and when they happen.
Send your experiences to me to collate, so that together with you, the APA and IPA, we can assist to further refine these and support implementing them at every level.
No one should have to be scared to call out this type of behaviour out of fear of losing a job. This type of behaviour is unacceptable and has no place in our industry.