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Global Advertising Community Tasked On DEI, As Babaeko, Others Lead Conversation at Cannes

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The global advertising community has been urged to “Stay the course on diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) and sustainability,” in the years ahead to deepen international practice, research and collaboration.

Five top practitioners, drawn from various continents of the world, including the President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Steve Babaeko, who

lead conversation at the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS) session in Cannes, on diversity, equality and inclusion in Advertising, unanimously agreed on this and promised to increase their efforts to drive progress together with members and stakeholders to enhance effective collaboration closely with the Unstereotype Alliance.

The speakers, who shared their thoughts based on experiences and backgrounds gave analytical and thought provoking scenarios that were meant to shape and deepen knowledge of participants on issues related to diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI).

The session, hosted by the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS), featured new research exposing problematic stereotyping in global ads along with perspectives from industry leaders on driving meaningful change. Madeline Di Nonno, President and CEO of the Geena Davis Institute, presented sobering findings from their latest research analyzing representation in advertisements across the world, to set the stage for what would become an interactive and important discussion on concrete actions for achieving meaningful DEI progress in advertising.

Representing Africa on the panel and speaking to pertinent issues, Babaeko, who doubles as the Chief Creative Officer at X3M Ideas, described the session as an evaluating forum that was initiated to sustain the relationship among practitioners, regardless of where he or she was practising from.

Other panelists who lent their voices to the focus of the session include President of the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS) & Chief Executive of the Advertising Standards Authority, Guy Parker; Senior Product Manager at Google, Komal Singh; Director of Brands and Impact, Union des marques, Sophie Roosen and President and CEO of Geena Davis Institute, Madeline Di Nonno.

Reacting to the relevance of the session to the year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the CEO of WFA and Vice President of ICAS Stephan Loerke, commended the speakers on their positions.

He said, “the industry could not agree more and were delighted to have a discussion in Cannes with a diverse set of experts on the current state of #diversity, #equity and #inclusion in advertising, addressing the biggest problems, looking at progress made and discussing the role of technology,” he said.

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