09 OCT 2020
5 MIN READ
October is not only a month when we drink a tremendous amount of the infamous pumpkin spice latte, but most importantly every year we observe Black History Month in the UK to honour and commemorate all the contributions and achievements of Black people in shaping British culture and society.
Over the last few years, MediaCom has arranged some incredible events to celebrate Black History Month. Our commitment to being the most diverse and inclusive agency has always been reflected in the variety and quality of events during the month of October. This week, we’re looking at how the rest of adland is supporting Black History Month, and how some are getting it very wrong.
The people behind the label
Black Pound Day, which is an initiative that encourages shoppers to support black-owned businesses on the first Saturday of every month, has launched a campaign to support entrepreneurs during Black History Month. “The People Behind the Label” was created pro bono by a number of agencies and features five businesses: Afro-Pop Socks, 222 Vegan Cuisine, Kay Davis Art, fashion label Vitae London and hair care brand Afrocenchix – all of which appear in Black Pound Day’s directory. The campaign will run online throughout October.
It has oft been said that there is no such thing as bad publicity, but the PR team at PureGym may choose to disagree. The ‘Uk’s favourite gym’ has faced an immediate backlash to a social media post from its Luton & Dunstable franchise launching a ‘12YearsOfSlave’ workout to celebrate Black History Month – to quote, “slavery was hard and so is this”. There will be many dissertations written on this particular post, but the immediate lesson for any brand is that social media is a powerful tool that needs to be handled by professionals.
Official statement from PureGym regarding an inappropriate post on the Luton & Dunstable gym social media channels. pic.twitter.com/c91xwHIogk— PureGym (@PureGym) October 5, 2020
TikTok have released a campaign titled, “#MyRoots” to help celebrate Black History Month. The video will appear across billboards and the internet and tell the stories of Creators and Artists as they celebrate their Afro-Caribbean roots. The creative features some familiar faces such as singer and songwriter Cat Burns, footballer Jeremy Lynch, queer creator Lily-Rose, actor Michael Dapaah and comedian Sherice Banton who are all showcasing their skills, passions and “authenticity” that have led them to success on the social platform.