afaqs! news bureau

WPP's new initiatives aimed at combating racial injustice

The initiatives include a full review of several WPP practices, promoting racial equality, and a $30 million investment to meet these commitments.

WPP, the British agency holding company, has announced a set of initiatives to combat racial injustice, and support Black and minority ethnic talent.

This announcement comes in the wake of anti-racism protests that originated in the United States, but then spread across the world. From consumer goods giants to major startups, there's been an outpouring of support for the Black community.

In its announcement, WPP spoke about three major initiatives:

1. In response to the 12 points in the 'Call For Change' open letter to the industry from more than 1,200 Black advertising professionals, WPP will complete a fundamental review of its hiring, retention, promotion and development practices; and publish its racial diversity data. All 12 actions will be implemented throughout WPP, on an accelerated timescale.

2. WPP will use its voice to fight racism and advance the cause of racial equality in and beyond its industry. It will engage with clients, partners, peers, industry bodies, event organisers and suppliers to ensure that Black and minority ethnic talent are fairly represented.

3. It will invest $30 million over the next three years to fund these programmes and support anti-racism charities. WPP will make donations, offer its services pro bono and work with its media partners to support charities and other organisations committed to fighting racism, developing minority talent and addressing issues that affect Black and ethnic minority communities.

A new global inclusion council will work with CEO Mark Read and the WPP executive committee to ensure that these commitments are met. The leaders of WPP’s global agency networks have each signed up to these commitments and will be held accountable for delivering them within their businesses.

“Over the last three weeks, I have heard an outpouring of pain, anger and frustration from Black colleagues, along with clear demands for change. This is the moment to embrace that change and to use our creativity, scale and influence to make a difference in the fight against racism. WPP must support and elevate Black employees, and those from other under-represented groups, not as a diversity and inclusion initiative, but as a business and moral imperative,” said Read.