A new agency has been launched in the UK, focussed specifically on championing diverse and inclusive influencer talent. Launching today, Reflect will operate as a non-profit D&I influencer talent management agency, with all revenues generated being pumped back into its social enterprise vision.
With millions of influencers in the UK contributing content to an industry worth in excess of US $5bn in 2021 and growing, in-depth analysis has highlighted the woeful under-representation of diversity in today’s media including TV advertising, YouTube videos and national and consumer media. And with more than one in two (51%) Gen-Zers calling for brands to include more diverse casting and imagery in their advertising, there is a growing need for a change in approach and a call to action.
“So much of what we see every day on our screens and through our media channels still speaks to a ‘one dimensional’ view based on traditional societal stereotypes,” says Russell Amerasekera, Shadow Board Member at Reflect. “The reality is, this narrow lens no longer reflects either the diverse world we live in or the inclusive society we aspire to become. Our aim is to address this imbalance by championing truly diverse content creators and working with brands and media channels to eradicate boundaries. Only by doing that can there be a difference to what people are seeing, reading, hearing and sharing.”
Supported by The River Group and already part of the UK Government’s ‘Kick Start’ scheme, which helps 16 – 24yr olds get a taste for media, Reflect will enable and encourage people in all walks of life, at any time of their lives, to explore a career in media through course sponsorships, degrees, internships, placements, and apprenticeships.
Nicola Murphy, Group Chief Executive of The River Group, said: “I’ve been in media for thirty-five years both client and agency side. But you don’t have to be a client media commissioner nor a creative agency to observe that what we see on TV, in social media, in outdoor, at the cinema, in magazines, isn’t truly representative of our wonderfully diverse society. Tokenism is rife, oftentimes because brands and agencies aren’t always sure how to best represent everyone without offending someone.”
“That’s why we want to spearhead change. We have made Reflect a community interest company to put our money where our mouth is. All profits will go into sponsoring college courses, training, apprenticeships and opportunities for marginalised individuals to have a media career. I’m excited to be part of this movement to make media open to all.”
The new agency is calling on influencers to join its books, recruiters to leverage its diverse talent pool, and businesses and government institutions to come together to help get media made by the very communities and individuals not yet given a representative share of voice. You can find out more here.