Jide Adetunji and Ibrahim Kamara
Adetunji and Kamara are behind the multi-platform youth media brand GUAP, which covers all aspects of creativity and culture. The 25-year-old digital entrepreneurs have notched up a raft of achievements, being honoured as "digital pioneers" by the Mayor of London and named among the top 100 most influential BAME leaders in the UK tech sector by the Financial Times. Brands they have worked with include Nike, Adidas, Apple and BBC Radio 1Xtra.
Social media and content manager, Lucky Generals
Adeyemi says she came into the industry "accidentally" from a culture and arts editorial background. Since then, she has created social/digital content for brands such as Yorkshire Tea and Hostelworld, in her current role, as well as Hilton Worldwide and Dairylea, during her tenure at BMB. An active Pocc member, Adeyemi also creates content for the network. Outside work, she can be found in bookshops, at music and art shows, "sipping coffees" with her mentee and running her small online retail business.
Nate Agbetu and Ayo Fagbemi
Founders, Play Nice
Agbetu, a freelance creative strategist and former Nike executive, and Fagbemi, a strategist at Wieden & Kennedy, came together to create Play Nice, a venture that they describe as a "studio working to build intersections between communities". Since its launch in March 2019, Play Nice has worked with Apple, Merky Books and UK Student Climate Network and others to "co-create, facilitate and produce work that speaks to the human truths of real people on the frontlines of society". Their work has ranged from curating panels at the Barbican to featuring in Beazley Designs of the Year.
Learning and cross cultural director, Creative Equals
Amoah has helped thousands of people across the industry find their "north star". The vibrant, glass-half-full business coach is relentless in championing diversity. She is a consultant for various companies, including Show Racism the Red Card, and launched the Black Pound Report, which explores the economic purchasing power of the UK BAME population. Later this month, she will be speaking on a panel at Campaign’s inaugural Female Frontiers awards, of which she was also a judge.
UK and Ireland advertising manager, Ikea
Anthony has been at Ikea for more than two decades, shepherding some of the brand’s most memorable campaigns and being named Campaign’s Creative Marketer of the Year twice in a row (in 2016 and 2017). Most recently, she oversaw Ikea’s first UK Christmas ad, which stood out among the festive flurry with an original track by grime artist MC D Double E. Known for her brutal honesty and creative instincts, Anthony helps ensure the retail brand maintains its fun and bold personality.
Executive producer, Flare Productions at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Arya started his career as a suit but his self-confessed "film nerdiness" led him towards production. Over the past decade he has worked at production companies and agencies, producing commercials, short films and music videos. A champion of new and diverse talent in the industry, he has an open-door policy and tries to meet everyone who contacts him. In 2017 he produced his first short film, called Hip Hop Café, which screened at the London Film Festival. He aims to produce his first feature film within the next four years, before he turns 40 years old.
Co-founder and investor, The Pop Up Agency
Asefaw, whose agency’s USP is that it travels the world and solves briefs in 48 hours, describes himself as "working in the space between business innovation, brand consulting and process optimisation". He is planning a new venture, due to go live in the spring, that Asefaw says will "tap into the possibilities of the global creative economy" and allow him to spend more time investing in and advising businesses that have missions he believes in. As dean of the Roger Hatchuel Academy at Cannes Lions and a frequent guest lecturer at creative schools around the world, Asefaw spends a substantial amount of time fostering what he calls the "next generation of change-makers". He has also worked closely with the United Nations, developing bespoke workshops linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals for brands globally.
Nafisa and Selina Bakkar
The Bakkar sisters are amplifying the voices of Muslim women through online publisher Amaliah.com. The media platform, which boasts 300 contributors from across the Muslim community, offers articles, videos and podcasts. The Bakkars also find time to run Halal Gems, a food website; its flagship Street Eats festival, held in London’s Old Spitalfields Market, attracted 90,000 people last April.
Head of diversity and inclusion, Warner Music; chair of the Creative Industries’ Alliance
In 2018 Bhagwat founded the Creative Industries’ Alliance, a network of diverse senior talent. Through the organisation, Bhagwat encourages leaders to elevate each other’s work and share opportunities. Before she joined Warner Music, Bhagwat was the off-screen diversity executive at Channel 4.
Yolanta Boti and Amie Snow
Creatives, Ogilvy UK
Boti and Snow are co-founders of Ogilvy Roots, a network dedicated to championing greater ethnic and cultural diversity in their agency and the wider industry. Snow has also played a key role in expanding Roots across WPP globally. Outside work, she is an artist, music host and curve model. Boti, who has a music degree, is also a singer, songwriter, freelance writer, actor (she performed as Gary Coleman in the Broadway musical Avenue Q) and fashion blogger. She and two friends have just started a podcast, Reserved.
Film editor, Marshall Street Editors
Brands such as Dove, Adidas and Rimmel have benefitted from Cairney-Keize’s distinctive editing style and attention to narrative structure. Her work has notched up awards and nominations across the globe. Most recently she scooped gold at the Berlin Commercial Awards and Ciclope for her Stella McCartney breast-cancer awareness film.
Co-founder, Black Girl Festival
Ghanaian-born Crentsil launched Black Girl Festival, the UK’s first festival for black British women and girls, three years ago. The brand has since extended into the Black Girl Fest Academy, a creative programme for young black women backed by the Mayor of London and Today at Apple. Crentsil is now turning her attention to Big Sis, a platform dedicated to supporting the personal development of creative working women.
Client service manager, Spotify
Spotify is a great fit for Crooks – she launched a record label in between university and internships at Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Google. After a stint at Grey London she went on to Vice Media and found time to start MadlandHack, a professional community for people of colour in the marketing industry. Crooks is also Black@Spotify UK lead and has been instrumental in promoting black talent, notably during Black History Month when she ran several events.
Antoinette De Lisser
Head of sales and marketing, Absolute Post Production
De Lisser, known to many in adland as Trevor Beattie’s legendary executive assistant, right-hand woman and fixer extraordinaire, joined the boutique production company three years ago. Before taking up her role at Absolute, De Lisser had a spell as a creative headhunter. Beyond her day job, she has worked with Pocc and Stripes.
Global president and UK chief executive, Saatchi & Saatchi
Sitting at the top of one of the most famous agency brands in the world makes Djaba a potent symbol of what is achievable for BAME people in the industry. However, he is irked by the fact that he is very much in a minority. In a revealing speech at last year’s Campaign Big Awards to launch its D&I category, he spoke about his frustration at attending industry events and being the only black person in the room. Djaba poignantly brought this to life at the ceremony by contrasting multicultural pictures of London primary schools with the "school photo" of industry people shot by Campaign for the cover of its School Reports issue, which predominantly featured white people. He urged the audience to break down barriers to create a level playing field.
Vice-chairman, VCCP; chief executive, VCCP Asia
One of advertising’s nice guys, "Dougie" arrived at VCCP in 2008 after spells at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, WCRS, TBWA and Grey. Also the co-founder of Lucky Voice karaoke, Douglas moved up the ranks at VCCP, most recently leading its move into Asia. An IPA council member and chair of its talent group, he came up with the idea for Advertising Unlocked, a simultaneous open day for every agency in the country. He is also busy working on the IPA’s I-List, a celebration of the 25 most inclusive people in the industry. Somehow he also finds the time to work on a side hustle, Parent Pool, which is based on the concept of a shared approach to parenting.
Tarik Fontenelle and Taro Shimada
Co-founders, On Road
Fontenelle and Shimada set up strategic insight agency On Road in 2017, having spotted an opportunity in the research industry. Fontenelle is a researcher with 11 years’ experience, carrying out qualitative research tasks with brands such as Nike, Google and Calvin Klein. Shimada, who has an ethnographic research background, leads on production. On Road’s work with Nike, which provided the insight for the award-winning "Nothing beats a Londoner" campaign, demonstrates the impact of a more immersive approach to research.
Diversity and inclusion manager, Havas
Garry, who joined Havas in October 2018, quickly set about working with the agency’s creative teams to brand its diversity and inclusion work. This resulted in All In, which launched in December 2018: a commitment to making diversity and inclusion a collective responsibility. Under the initiative, 329 hours of "courageous conversations" were delivered via bespoke workshops, and 300 books were shared as an ongoing learning resource for teams. "I believe we were built for connection and we are only made richer by being open to exploring the different ways we all contribute to society," Garry says.
Roshni Goyate and Leyya Sattar
Co-founders, The Other Box
This duo’s consultancy pushes for inclusion and diversity in the creative and tech industries and has worked with companies including Virgin Group, Monzo and Havas Group. Established in 2016, The Other Box came into existence because the founders felt the diversity conversation was too focused on gender and many people were still being left out. Sattar has a background in design, while poet and writer Goyate was inspired to set up the company after freelancing on creative teams and being the only woman of colour. Goyate has used her skills as a copywriter to launch the #WOCcopywriting workshop for women and non-binary people of colour.
Head of content strategy EMEA, Hogarth Worldwide
Harrison is a creative production specialist who has worked with sport, technology and FMCG brands on their content offerings. He is also the founder of parenting group and podcast Dope Black Dads, which has the stated aim "to celebrate, heal, inspire and educate black fathers for better outcomes for black families". The initiative has been nominated for various awards in the US, UK and South Africa since its launch in 2018.
Vice-president of Islamic marketing, Ogilvy Consulting
Janmohamed, who radiates positivity and goodwill, is an articulate and fearless commentator on engaging with Muslim audiences. A published author with Love in a Headscarf: Muslim Woman Seeks the One and Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World, Janmohamed believes 2020 will be the year that "the penny drops" that it’s not enough to "throw diversity around as a buzzword".
Stylist, art director, filmmaker and writer
Khalifa is a Sudanese, Irish, Afro-Arab woman of many talents. She has worked for magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, ES Magazine and InStyle and has styled for a range of brands, including Samsung, Nike, Sony and Kinder. Khalifa also writes regularly for The Telegraph and Stylist websites on social and current affairs. As a filmmaker, she has presented BBC3 documentary Inside the Real Saudi Arabia, and shot a three-part series for Vice.
Founder and chief executive, gal-dem
Gal-dem, an online magazine and media platform for and by women and non-binary people of colour, should need no introduction to Campaign readers – Little was the magazine’s cover star last February. She has also worked in TV, most recently in commissioning for the BBC’s factual department, where she developed a strand focused on history not taught in schools. Little describes herself as "obsessed with storytelling" and has written for a range of media, including Feminists Don’t Wear Pink, The Guardian, Wonderland and Elle. She is now focused on gal-dem’s new membership model.
Award-winning film director London is known for his distinctive style and creative approach to storytelling. Emerging at the height of the post-Moonlight cultural zeitgeist, the director says his films are "emotionally dense and touch on themes of identity" and he is "committed to making waves and spearheading shifts in culture through films". His films include Black Boys Don’t Cry and Fatherhood and he has produced branded work for Nike and Adidas.
Founder, The Barber Shop
Myers-Lamptey’s start-up appears to have caught the interest of the industry, if the healthy traffic generated by Campaign’s story on its launch last year is anything to go by. The Barber Shop, a strategy agency and consultancy, aims to use "new models of creativity and collaboration to solve clients’ problems", according to Myers-Lamptey, a former managing director of MullenLowe MediaHub. An energetic campaigner for diversity, he was instrumental in helping Campaign launch the D&I Big Award, in his capacity as a Media for All member, and is a non-executive director for the Brixton Finishing School.
Founder, Looks Like Me
After her daughter questioned her own identity because girls like her were not being represented in the media, Nicholls launched Looks Like Me, a talent and casting agency. The company is on a mission to redefine beauty by raising the profile of underrepresented children in the fashion and advertising world. As well as running her agency, Nicholls is an inclusion consultant at culture-change business Utopia.
Akinola Ogunmade-Davies Jr
Filmmaker, writer and video artist
Ogunmade-Davies Jr’s work explores themes of community, race, spirituality, identity and gender. He says he tries to "delicately navigate the collision of both colonial and imperial tradition, while advocating a return to indigenous narratives". He has worked for Kenzo on its magazine, Kenzo Folio, and on a film for the fashion brand, which celebrated Nigerian youth. He currently has two short films in production.
Co-founder and executive creative director, Superimpose
At the growing full-service creative agency Superimpose, which has just celebrated its fifth birthday, Olanipekun is on a mission to challenge brands and businesses to do things differently. For him, it’s less about advertising and more about creating culture and contributing to the conversation. His recent work includes a campaign for an Adidas watch collection, inspired by the lifestyles of modern creatives. The Woolmark Company and British Fashion Council are also on his client list.
Consultant, outdoor, Global
Patel, a veteran of the media industry, was chief executive of Primesight until last July and has since been assisting with the integration of the outdoor business into Global. Determined to improve ethnic diversity in the media sector, he is an adviser to not-for-profit organisation Creative Access, founder of Media for All and a mentor to young talent in media.
Head of new business, Prettybird
Powell, who has held roles at Iris and MullenLowe London, works tirelessly on initiatives aimed at championing underrepresented voices. She has curated and moderated panels around representation, diversity and intersectionality at Advertising Week Europe and New York and mentors for ELAM (East London Arts and Music School), Iconic Steps and D&AD Shift. "It’s imperative for me to be a positive example for those kids who don’t necessarily feel they have a role model that looks like them in this industry," she says.
Executive producer/director’s rep, My Accomplice
Ramsurrun, a south Londoner of Mauritian heritage, worked across various sectors, including publishing and music supervision, before settling on film production. With more than a decade of experience under her belt, upon entering the industry, she was shocked to witness the "hundreds of inappropriate conversations based around stereotyping people of colour and profiling culture" and the poor representation of class, gender and sexuality. While she says that there is still a long way to go, Ramsurrun feels that the current crop of talent is able to "inform and advise... without being made out to be difficult or obtuse". An active part of the senior team at Pocc, Ramsurrun made her directorial debut on the network’s thoughtful short film "The World is (Y)Ours".
Marketing director, Google
Robb is a champion for equality who tells it like it is, calling out diversity panels for "pigeonholing the topic as separate from business and creativity" and actively using her position to influence real cultural change, not just tick the diversity box. She launched rising-star programme Fast Track 50 with The Dots last year and has mentored and championed companies such as The Other Box and the #sowhite campaign.
A passionate youth development specialist, Rochelle has been working with young creatives from diverse backgrounds for the past decade in a variety of roles. Last year, she founded Ting, a personal and professional development platform. Areas that are covered by Ting include mentoring, diversity and inclusion consulting and schools interventions.
Co-founder and creative director, So Fraîche
Since co-founding creative production agency So Fraîche, Sagoe has been dedicating his time to various inclusivity-boosting briefs. These include helping Hollywood stars trace their ancestry in Ghana, and conceptualising the Mayor of London’s "London needs you alive" campaign to tackle youth knife crime. Taking his shot as a director, Sagoe also worked on Chelsea FC’s first music video with a focus on grime and one for Kojo Fund, which explored the paths young black men in London can take.
Co-founder and director, Break Communications
Break is a PR, marketing and youth engagement agency that has worked with brands such as Converse, Huawei and Soho Music Month. Thomas says her agency is on a mission to combat the homogeneity of the creative industries through a network of young people that helps to design and deliver campaigns and projects. Break uses arts and culture to connect directly with young people and those who influence them.
Strategy director and partner, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Timeyin began his career in banking but swapped Excel spreadsheets for PowerPoint slides after helping to launch Osper, one of the UK’s first mobile banks for young people. Since making the move to adland, he has delivered everything from social to brand strategy, most recently leading the value strategy for the UK’s biggest retailer, Tesco. Beyond BBH, Timeyin is helping to launch what he describes as "the first premium African vodka", providing strategic support to creative network Pocc and mentoring young people who want to break into the creative industries.
Managing director, Brands with Values
Walcott’s business performance consultancy Brands with Values recently partnered Campaign and intermediary Oystercatchers to take the temperature of the creative industry’s culture via an in-depth survey. Among the thought-provoking results was the finding that African/Caribbean/black British and mixed/multiple ethnic groups rated their work culture as unhealthy, while their white counterparts saw theirs as healthy, indicating there is work to be done on improving their experience of adland. Walcott, a former brand-side senior marketer, has observed these issues close-up through his work on BAME2020, an initiative to get more BAME people entering advertising and marketing. Its "Let’s be bold about race" series of events is a forum for rich stories on what the industry needs to do to attract, retain and nurture diverse talent.