Campaigns running rampant with exclusion

Brands underestimate the value in being purpose-led.

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Balenciaga runs campaign featuring children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage

In the world of inclusion, there are values and purpose that uphold any campaign, and then there is sheer stupidity. Balenciaga is our first story of the week as it is now a pariah and symbol of what not to do in fashion when it comes to inclusion for any brand. The first lesson to takeaway is to never illustrate the classic experience of exclusion in a brand’s industry. Let alone in a campaign. Balenciaga is part of the luxury fashion retail industry which has been swarmed with child abuse topics. Why did the creative directors think it would be the best idea ever to symbolize that experience? That’s a million-dollar question. They need to take a page out of Burberry’s book.

If the aim was to reveal the darker side of human experiences, then it oddly accomplished that, but it cost them a loss in consumers. The backlash to the campaign is a wake up call for brands to push values and purpose, like supporting human rights especially for the youth, at the forefront of their strategies. An obvious fix is leadership. If their values are along the lines of satanist views, perhaps a change at the Top is a good place to start.

Government axes international student numbers

This week, the Tory government has announced a plan to cut down on international students entering the UK to study so-called “low quality degrees”. Clearly, this is a direct result of the Brexit referendum and the tension to cut ties with Europe and international peoples. As Britain has an aging population and a weakening workforce, we wonder why the British government is choosing to block the flow of international people coming into the country. The government may be trying to protect British students, particularly white students as the policy is racially motivated, but it will destroy universities nonetheless.  With international tuition fees paying for 42.4% of British universities revenue, it is a terrible decision to shut the door on inclusion in an ever-growing globalized world.

Disproportionate numbers of people of colour unhoused 

A new study on homelessness in the UK has been released which sends clear warnings on the exclusion of ethnic minority groups, especially Pakistani and Bangladeshi people. In London, one of the most extreme and pressurized housing markets, Black people are five times more likely than whites to be at risk of homelessness. Pakistani and Bangladeshi people are four times more likely to experience overcrowding than white households. With a rise in rents expected to hit London in 2023 with no signs of interest rates declining, an inclusive approach like building more social housing is needed to navigate the crisis.

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