UK communications agencies have joined peers in the US to stand in solidarity with people in the Black community who have protested for more than a week since the senseless death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
Several marked their respect on #BlackOutTuesday with posts on social media. Others, such as Don’t Cry Wolf, Finn Partners and WE, urged inward reflection and to take action to fight systemic racism.
The CIPR even delayed its CIPR Excellence Awards by a day out of respect to Blackout Tuesday.
Here is a selection of how the industry marked the occasion:
Don’t Cry Wolf
The agency said it would reflect on how it could contribute to the fight against racism and promised a donation to the cause in a considered thread.
We have a commitment to donate 1.5% of revenue to charity each year. As a one-off addition, We've donated 5% of last month's revenue to@AntiRacismDay and 39 community bailout funds in the US via this link https://t.co/tZw7K6d9as— Don't Cry Wolf (@dontcrywolf) June 2, 2020
The unjustified deaths and mistreatment of black people have been ignored for too long. We act in solidarity with the black community. We act in solidarity with all communities who are consistently marginalized. We act against racism and discrimination. #blackouttuesday pic.twitter.com/b51c7UJrEK— Ketchum UK (@KetchumUK) June 2, 2020
We face a moment of shared pain and shared responsibility—most importantly we face a moment of truth and accountability. We stand together with our Black colleagues, clients and partners in fighting racial injustice and inequality. #blackouttuesday pic.twitter.com/SjL53hbTQ1— Ogilvy UK (@OgilvyUK) June 2, 2020
In a group staff email, founding managing partner Peter Finn reiterated a commitment to equality and called on staff to reflect on the anxiety and frustrations of people of colour. He also urged people to vote so that elected officials can focus on “healing the divide” and advocate “inherent equality and natural rights for all people”, in what could be interpreted as a dig at US President Donald Trump.
Brands should ensure their own house is in order and make meaningful contributions to a solution before expressing solidarity with black protestors, BAME communications leaders have urged.
Time to do better. We cannot do it divided. Being silent because it makes you uncomfortable shows you are compliant.— Purple Fashion & Beauty (@PurplePRFashion) June 1, 2020
Every industry is responsible to Speaking OUT. We actively need to stand up against racism and white supremacy.#BlackLivesMatterhttps://t.co/3brLdOJytA pic.twitter.com/9f2WeoNJrx
Porter Novelli UK
The CIPR moved its CIPR Excellence Awards from Tuesday to today (Wednesday, 3 June) out of respect for Blackout Tuesday. It also posted the following statement.
Read next: Our colleagues at PRWeek US have also produced a round-up of how agencies in the US are responding to the cause.