LONDON: Stonewall, the LGBT rights charity, is launching its first brand campaign in ten years as it seeks to tackle an alarming rise in reported hate crimes against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the UK.

A YouGov poll of 5,000 LGBT people, which Stonewall commissioned, has revealed the number of reported hate crimes has soared by 78% over the past four years, from 9% in 2013 to 16% in 2017.

Furthermore, two in five (41%) of transgender people experienced a hate crime or incident because of their identity over the past 12 months, while four in five LGBT people did not report incidents to the police.

With mounting evidence that LGBT people are afraid to go about their daily lives, Stonewall’s “Come out for LGBT” campaign aims to address society’s “complacency”.

“We want to tackle what we see as a feeling of complacency about LGBT equality in Britain,” said Lucy Abell, Stonewall’s Director of Communications, in an interview with Marketing Week.

“We have made some really important leaps in the last few years, from employment rights to marriage rights, and that might lead people to think the job is done. We want this campaign to show there is still a lot of work that needs to happen for there to be true equality.”

Devised by creative agency Mr President, the Stonewall campaign will involve an online video, digital and social media activity as well as outdoor marketing.

Ads will encourage people to visit Stonewall’s website where they can access and share information, while also pledging their support. Brands could step up their activity too, the charity believes.

“It is also really important for companies within the marketing industry to take a look at their own workplaces and challenge them to be more inclusive,” Abell said.

“If you have a company or agency where people can be themselves at work it leads to a much more productive workforce,” she added.

Abell welcomed the greater diversity seen recently in advertising, but suggested companies could do more to promote diversity.

“It needs to be a meaningful commitment that runs through not just what is in a final ad shoot but the principles of the company behind it,” she said.

Data sourced from BBC, Marketing Week; additional content by WARC staff