Swedish marketers join forces for #metoo


Article credit Carin Fredlund
Photo credit Nicole Lage Vianna

The #metoo-movement is strong in Sweden. More or less each line of business has its own appeal. But few have taken such concrete measures as the marketing sector. In November 2017, four women from advertising and PR agencies in Stockholm summoned a call under the hashtag #sistabriefen (the last brief). It was addressed to employers and industry organisations with a clear assignment to stop discrimination, harassment and abuse. And they requested clear account of the actions and the results…

The response was immediate. Ten days after the call, leaders of 11 industry organisations joined forces to take action. Together, they represent basically the whole marketing industry. From the Advertisers Association, Communication Agencies, Content Agencies, Marketing Confederation, PR Agencies, trade unions, employer organisations and more. Some of them are each other’s counterparts, others are competitors. But they all agreed that they have an important, shared role to educate and guide their members.

Recently the trade associations and the network #sistabrief gathered to discuss the work initiated and the route ahead.

The trade organisations stressed that they are in the beginning of the process, and there is a lot more to do. But among the concrete measures taken, so far, is the development of a web page, #kommunikationskoden (the communication code), with common ethical rules and other information. The trade union, DIK, has opened a telephone line for whistle-blowers, both their members and others.

A special certifying education for employers and employees is being developed to ensure that the awareness will increase. Agency search consultants have also noted that ethical rules and gender equality has become an obvious matter to address in every process of starting a new cooperation between agencies and their clients.

The promoters of #sistabriefen pointed out, after the meeting, that they also want a measuring system which would enable tracking future development and ensure real change. And change will come; there is no turning back any more.

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