Agency and Client Leaders Unite to Launch MAA-Backed LGBT Group

The MAA is backing the launch of a leadership group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in advertising.

By Scott Knox

The MAA is backing the launch of a leadership group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in advertising.

The leadership group will be called PrideAM (Pride in Advertising & Marketing) and will be steered by a select committee made up of LGBT clients and agency leaders. The founding members include Scott Knox, Managing Director, (Marketing Agencies Association) MAA; Jan Gooding, Group Brand Director, Aviva & Chair of Stonewall; Nick Bailey, CEO & ECD, Isobar and Matt Scarff, Director of ITV Creative.

PrideAM will be inaugurated by Scott Knox, Managing Director of the MAA, who will be the group’s first president.

The group will adopt the MAA’s strapline and ethos of ‘doing different’, which underpins the MAA’s commitment to diversity across the industry.

Knox says: “PrideAM has been created out of a pressing need for a high-profile group that celebrates and represents the still marginalised LGBT community in advertising, much like WACL celebrates women in advertising.”

“Shockingly many people don’t feel comfortable coming out at work in agency land. PrideAM aims to ensure that anyone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender working in our industry is supported and represented at the highest level. “No one should feel they need to hide who they are at work, and particularly not when they work in an industry as vibrant and progressive as advertising.

“We have come together to connect, inform and empower LGBT people in our sector, to realise and celebrate the value we bring.”

Jan Gooding, Group Brand Director, Aviva & Chair of Stonewall adds: “If people in marketing are going to be equipped to help change the attitudes and behaviour of society with regard to LGBT consumers then they need to get their own house in order. This new group is a brilliant step forward and I am quite sure will make a difference to a lot of people who are looking for signs that this issue is taken seriously and we truly want to change our culture at work.”

Nick Bailey, CEO & ECD, Isobar: “Diverse points of view and experiences make for a better working culture, better creative work, better outcomes for our clients. While positive progress has been made in our industry we still have a long way to go and this group is a fantastic step towards a more representative industry and richer, more interesting output form agencies.”

PrideAM has been inspired by the great work of WACL and president Lindsay Clay has invited Scott Knox to launch the group at the WACL President’s Dinner on 22nd September.

PrideAM is looking for more openly LGBT industry leaders to join the initiative and should email for more details.