SYDNEY, Feb. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Procter & Gamble Australia (P&G), Sydney WorldPride and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras today hosted an activation unpacking the importance of LGBTQIA+ visibility in advertising, media, and the world.
Left to right: Kate Wickett, CEO of Sydney WorldPride, Brent Miller; CODED Executive Producer and P&G Global LGBTQIA+ Equality Leader; Amanda Lampe, Corporate Relations Director for Diageo Australia; Courtney Act, International Drag Queen; Kumar Venkatasubramanian, Senior Vice President & General Manager of P&G Australia & New Zealand; and Matty Mills First Nations TV Presenter and Actor outside Palace Verona Cinema today
The panel was hosted by Matty Mills (First Nations TV Presenter and Actor) and panellists included: Brent Miller, CODED Executive Producer and P&G Global LGBTQIA+ Equality Leader; Courtney Act, International Drag Queen, Artist, Singer and Advocate; Kate Wickett (CEO of Sydney WorldPride); Albert Kruger (CEO of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras); and Amanda Lampe (Corporate Relations Director for Diageo Australia).
The panel immediately followed a private screening of award-winning documentary short film, produced by P&G and Imagine Entertainment, CODED: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker. The film explores early representation of LGBTQIA+ communities through arts and advertising.
Opening the event, Kumar Venkatasubramanian, Senior Vice President & General Manager of P&G Australia & New Zealand, said "As an ally to the community and the General Manager of a company whose products and brands touch the lives of most Australians every day, I want to be constantly learning and challenging myself, and P&G, on how to be more inclusive in our innovation, our advertising, and our people."
Following the film screening, Brent Miller, CODED Executive Producer and P&G Global LGBTQIA+ Equality Leader, touched on its impact "Despite Leyendecker's story being one of 100 years ago it is so relevant today. It has created a powerful conversation about the role of advertising and the responsibility corporates have in terms of what they are putting out in the world. The choices we make about how we represent people is not a political choice it's a human choice. We never made this film to win awards, we made it to tell a story and move important issues forward."
Linking her own experiences to the themes within CODED as a drag queen and known TV personality, Courtney Act said "It's nice to progress past a point where our identity is the reason we are invited to events. In the film there is an idea around the importance of getting beyond being seen as 'other' and I think that's the next frontier. I want us to be seen as people with a lot more similarities than differences, and not be simply seen as 'other'."
Commenting on where brands go from here Brent Miller said "Only 1.8% of ads represent community. The biggest fear from brands is fear of backlash - particularly from our community who want to ensure we get the representation of the LGBTQIA+ persons correct. My advice for brands is don't wait until you have it perfect. There is someone who needs to hear your voice today and is counting on you to recognise the megaphone we have to share that positive impact."
Kate Wickett, CEO of Sydney WorldPride, added "there is an important role for all brands to play in ensuring representation. My advice to corporates is keep going and keep pushing because we haven't achieved equality yet and complacency is our biggest enemy."
Albert Kruger, CEO of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras said "Our festival is a party with purpose and I encourage everyone attending to remember why we are here. We've still got many fights ahead until true equality and acceptance is achieved for all LGBTQIA+ communities."
The ongoing partnership to support the LGBTQIA+ community is grounded in P&G's mission to create a company and a world where Equality and Inclusion is achievable for all; where respect and inclusion are the cornerstones of its culture; where equal access and opportunity to learn, grow, succeed and thrive are available to everyone. In partnership with Sydney WorldPride and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, P&G will continue to raise awareness about diverse issues faced by different members of the LGBTQIA+ community, thereby driving a call for action from the broader community to "Lead with Love".
About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always, Ambi Pur, Ariel, Bounty, Charmin, Crest, Dawn, Downy, Fairy, Febreze, Gain, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Lenor, Olay, Oral-B, Pampers, Pantene, SK-II, Tide, Vicks, and Whisper. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and information about P&G and its brands.