At Advertising Week Europe, which kicks off Monday 20 March, MEC will reveal the “Face of Advertising” – an activation that displays photos of attendees merged together to create a single face that represents the diverse collection of people working in the industry today. The merged ‘face,’ which will be updated and altered in real time as the images of different attendees’ faces are captured, will be on display at AWEurope’s headquarters in Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly on Monday. The photo-booth will be set at the entrance of the Picturehouse venue for attendees to get their picture taken.
Furthering MEC’s efforts to challenge AWEurope attendees to ‘brave their bias,’ Delegates are also invited to take part in a series of tests designed to help bring unconscious biases to the surface. The Harvard University Implicit Association Tests, or IATs, measure hidden attitudes and beliefs that people may be unable to identify or admit to. Attendees can participate anonymously to uncover their attitudes towards identifiers like gender, disability, sexuality, weight, age and race. Rather than ‘score’ the results, the test instead encourages participants to look at and reflect on their biases.
The aim of MEC’s Brave Your Bias initiative is to encourage attendees to help challenge the face of advertising by confronting their own biases and taking the pledge to drive change.
“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,” said Sarah Homer, People and Culture Director for MEC EMEA. “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.”
MEC will also host a panel discussion on Monday during AWEurope titled, “MEC Knights of the Roundtable,” with industry leaders including ITV’s Simon Daglish, Shortlist Media’s Ella Dolphin, ESI Media’s Jon O’Donnell and Helen Weisinger of Outdoor Plus. Discussion will focus on the direction the future of media is headed in amid the rapid rise of digital consumption and smart devices.
To learn more about MEC’s activations, sessions and featured speakers, head over to the official AWEurope calendar.