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Aussie adland rallies to marriage equality cause

News, 14 August 2017
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MELBOURNE: Australia’s advertising industry has been quick to jump on board the fight to legalise same-sex marriage in the country, with hundreds of industry professionals pledging not to work on anti-marriage equality campaigns.

Last week, following months of political uproar, the federal government confirmed that a nationwide postal vote on same-sex marriage will go ahead.

Currently, same-sex couples in Australia must travel to countries where same-sex marriage is legal, such as New Zealand, to get married. However, these marriages are not legally recognised in Australia.

Creative ad agency The Royals, which worked on The Marriage Equality campaign, has led the charge, asking industry professionals to pledge not to work on anti-marriage equality campaigns, AdNews reported.

“Imagine if every agency, production company, sound designer or illustrator said No to working on these harmful ads. Imagine then our friends in media also standing up and saying No to the No campaign,” said Nick Cummins, creative partner at The Royals.

“And brands also joining in to pledge that no harmful ads will appear on their sites or channels,” he added. “Yes, the No campaigners will find a way to make their hurtful divisive messages. But we can make it difficult for them.”

(For more, including how Ireland’s marriage equality campaign won over Irish voters in their referendum, read WARC’s report: Behind Ireland’s winning marriage equality campaign.)

By August 11, more than 350 advertising professionals in Australia had pledged not to work on anti-marriage equality campaigns.

Staff from Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, BWM Dentsu, CHE Proximity, The Sweet Shop, Cummins & Partners, Y&R, Host, Clemenger BBDO Sydney, Special Group Australia, TKT Sydney and The Royals were all represented among the pledges.

Meanwhile, ABC reported that an estimated A$60m will be spent overall by campaigners on both sides of the debate, while polling indicates that Australians are broadly supportive of same-sex marriage, with many high profile Australian brands also supporting the LGBT community in recent years.

Data sourced from AdNews, Mumbrella, ABC; additional content by WARC staff

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