MEC will reveal the ‘Face of Advertising’ at Ad Week Europe 2017. Photos of attendees will be combined via bespoke facial merging tools to create a real-time data visualisation of what people working in the industry today look like.
The merged ‘face’ will be on display at the Ad Week Europe 2017 venue at Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly on day one of the event on Monday 20th March. The image of the face will be updated and altered in real time as the images of different attendees’ faces are captured.
MEC is also challenging Ad Week delegates to brave their bias and take part in up to six Harvard University Implicit Association Tests (IATs) each, which are designed to help bring unconscious biases to the surface. The tests measure hidden attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to admit to - or even aware of.
Attendees can take part anonymously and will be tested on their attitudes towards the likes of gender, disability, sexuality, weight, age and race.
The focus of the result is not on an individual’s ‘score’, but rather on encouraging individuals to look and reflect on the presence and breadth of their biases.
Each IAT test takes around 10 minutes to complete, and involves answering a set of multiple choice questions on the topic of your choice. There's then a quick fire test where you have to push keys as quickly as possible to answer each question which is how your unconscious bias is uncovered. Results are revealed as soon as you've submitted your answers.
The aim of MEC’s Brave Your Bias test, which takes place in the foyer of Picturehouse Central on day one of Ad Week Europe, is to encourage delegates to help drive change and challenge the face of advertising by confronting their own biases and pledging to work on them.
Diversity Consultant Sasha Scott from The Inclusive Group will be on hand to offer coaching and top tips for those looking for tailored advice on how to address their bias.
To help create the ‘Face of Advertising’, Ad Week attendees are invited to visit MEC’s Brave Your Bias photo booth, situated at the entrance to Picturehouse Central and get their picture taken. A bespoke facial merging tool will then be used to create the composite face.
Sarah Homer, People & Culture Director, MEC EMEA said: “We are looking to build a truly inclusive culture in MEC, where every unique person has a voice. Tackling unconscious bias is going to drive inclusion and unlock greater collaboration and creativity in all the work we do. We all have inbuilt prejudices from our backgrounds and upbringings, but becoming aware of them is the first step to ‘owning’ them, and getting advice from a specialist coach can help us do this.”
Jason Dormieux, CEO of MEC UK, said: “As an industry we lag behind many others when it comes to diversity. Whilst inclusivity is a major focus for our industry, we need to move from intention to action as we seek to better reflect the UK’s diverse society. By tackling people’s unconscious bias we can actively support individuals to encourage greater inclusivity in our workforce.”
MEC will also present a panel discussion at Ad Week on The Future of Media’ on Monday, March 20th at 5pm at the IPA Centenary Stage. The panel will include industry experts Simon Daglish, Deputy Managing Director Commercial, ITV; Ella Dolphin, CEO, Shortlist Media; Jon O’Donnell, MD Commercial, ESI Media; and Helen Weisinger, Chief Client Officer, Outdoor Plus discussing where they think the future of media is headed in light of the rapid rise of digital consumption and smart devices continually getting smarter. The panel will be moderated by Verra Budimlija, the Chief Strategy Officer at MEC UK.