Operation Black Vote holds politicians accountable with controversial campaign

Campaign encourages BAME community to register to vote.

Operation Black Vote: Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel features in the campaign
Operation Black Vote: Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel features in the campaign

Operation Black Vote has launched a social media campaign encouraging people from black, Asian and minority-ethnic communities to register to vote for the election on 12 December.

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi London, the ad shows young people (including Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel, journalist Ash Sarkar and Midsommar’s Will Poulter) as they insensitively present views addressing issues of race, religion, women, sexuality and climate change in the company of stunned onlookers.

It ends with the caption: "These are real quotes from UK politicians. When you don’t vote, other people speak for you."

The spot is supported by a series of billboards across the UK, each showing a famous person with an "X" over their mouths to emphasise the importance of voting.

Lord Simon Woolley, director at Operation Black Vote, said: "With the nation’s future direction at stake, it’s critical that marginalised communities have a voice in this election.

"The marginality of so many seats – 100 – simply means the BAME vote could decide who has the keys to Downing Street. This is a dynamic and creative campaign that seeks to inspire millions of people to register to vote and finally have their voice heard."

The work was written by Marcus Petterson, art directed by Kate Murphy and directed by David Allain through Hungry Man.

Magnus Djaba, global president of Saatchi & Saatchi and chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi UK, said: "This election is critical to the future of millions of young people across the UK. If they are not registered and so cannot vote, they will be letting voters and politicians whose views and beliefs they may disagree with speak on their behalf. 

"Our work shows this by placing abhorrent quotes from real UK politicians in the mouths of young Britons that would and could never say those things." 

In 2017, Operation Black Vote created a campaign called "Blacks don’t vote" that highlighted the difference the BAME vote could make in the world.

This article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign

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