Omnicom launches anti-Asian hate PSA challenge for agencies

The ‘three in five’ challenge encourages all agencies to boost Asian representation in media.

Here’s the brief: tell Asian stories to drive awareness about the fact that three in five Asian-Americans feel underrepresented in the media.  

Omnicom has called PR, media and advertising pros to action with the “three in five” challenge, an initiative developed by Omnicom’s Asian employee resource groups that aims to improve Asian representation in the media.  

The challenge, which launched Friday, asks creatives and communications professionals across the industry to submit PSAs that speak to the underrepresentation of Asian Americans in media.  

Spikes in anti-Asian hate crimes in recent weeks have led companies to speak out in support of the AAPI community and develop internal efforts to support Asian-American and Pacific Islander employees.  

As AAPI Heritage month approaches in May, the industry needs to be mindful of inclusivity and representation at large, said Whaewon Choi, SVP and partner at FleishmanHillard.  

“It has to be more than just celebrating [the AAPI community] for one moment in time,” she said. “Three in five is meant to get people to adopt new behaviors.”   

The winning PSAs will have a chance to run in more than 35 paid media partners beginning May 1 to kick off AAPI Heritage month, including The Washington Post, Warner Media, the Los Angeles Times, NBC Universal and Spotify. Media owners have donated more than 40 million impressions to the campaign. 

Submissions are open to all agencies and can be made through the three in five website. Omnicom’s goal is to feature three or more AAPI stories out of five in the content created throughout the month of May.  

Submissions will be judged by global head of social marketing at Facebook, Eric Toda; CMO of GoFundMe, Musa Tariq; and SVP and creative director of copy at Marina Maher Communications, Daniel Oh. The deadline for entry is April 23.

“We know it's a very short timeline, so we are looking to people who are passionate about this,” said Julia Tsang, associate director at PHD. “This is something that speaks deeply to all of us.”

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