WPP has announced a series of measures in response to Black Lives Matter and the ‘Call for Change’ from 1200 Black advertising professionals (looks like ‘black’ has to carry a capital letter now.)
Among the measures are a fundamental review of hiring policy (is this the positive discrimination we wrote about earlier this week?), only participating in events in which there is Black representation including awards juries and the like. WPP says it will spend $10m over the next three years supporting these various initiatives and donating to Black charities. The company already has various diversity initiatives in place.
CEO Mark Read says: “Over the last three weeks, I have heard an outpouring of pain, anger and frustration from Black colleagues, along with clear demands for change. This is the moment to embrace that change, and to use our creativity, our scale and our influence to make a difference in the fight against racism.
“WPP must support and elevate Black employees, and those from other under-represented groups, not as a diversity and inclusion initiative but as a business and moral imperative.”
Like its ad holding company peers WPP isn’t exactly awash with money at the moment and Read is to be congratulated on actually doing something, at a cost. It promises to publish data on Black representation going forward.