Dutch association celebrates 100 years with challenge to brand leaders on social responsibility and racism
bvA launches taskforce on Diversity & Inclusion
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The event put a spotlight on the most relevant industry and social topics of today, including the impact of Covid-19 on business and people and emerging issues around racism, diversity and responsibility of online platforms.
The business leaders who spoke during the bvA anniversary event emphasised that brands can no longer hide from inconvenient truths about marketing and difficult dilemmas. Merijn Everaarts, Founder & CEO of Dopper, Helen Mets, Executive Vice President Materials at DSM and Hanneke Faber, President Global Foods & Refreshment at Unilever, talked about how companies can use their brands as a force for good and reinforce their social responsibility.
bvA’s new chairman Erik van Engelen also emphasized that brands should not only focus on their own responsibility, but also to work together in addressing issues including racism in advertising and hate speech on digital platforms. “This is why bvA was founded 100 years ago and what we will continue to do in the future: together we will ensure an increasingly responsible and transparent marketing landscape”, he said.
In June, the association announced that Diversity & Inclusion will be one of their key priorities, with a focus on combatting racism in advertising in the Netherlands. This follows the anti-racism protests in the US and around the world, as well as two studies commissioned by bvA in 2020. The studies found that racist advertisements still exist in the Netherlands today and that Dutch people feel that representation in advertising can be improved.
bvA has outlined concrete actions and has since launched a number of initiatives, including the launch of the bvA Taskforce on Diversity & Inclusion in October and the Dutch Marketing Diversity fund and programme with other industry associations in July.