Australia has been forced into a postal vote (or the plebiscite that has been blocked twice by Parliament) to decide marriage equality. This means that the distribution of pamphlets and advertisements – many of which are already spreading rubbish about gay LGBTIQ people and, worse, the children of LGBTIQ people – will probably escalate. It’s easy to put a rainbow wash over your Facebook profile during Mardi Gras or add a “say yes to marriage equality” sticker now. Nick Cummins, creative partners at The Royals, is asking you to do something more ballsy, and more important – say no to creating ads for the No campaigners.
UPDATE: The Royals’ Say No To No campaign has found a valuable ally. AKQA has given the campaign a bright, searchable website.
“Our brand spanking new website comes with extra functionality thanks to the team at AKQA. And it’s awesome. Check out the searchable list and remind those friends or colleagues who aren’t there to sign up. Also have a read of some to the reasons why we as an industry have chosen to say No to No,” Nick Cummins, creative partner, The Royals, commented.
“We now have close to 2000 individuals and companies that have signed up to Say No To No. This shows that our industry truly does have a soul. Together, we’ve taken a stand against making harmful or hurtful messages and at the same time shown our LGBTIQ colleagues that we respect and support them.
Contributors: Alisia Muscat, Brian Vella, Ben Robertson, Natalie Haslam-Conroy, Rachel Ferguson, Aaron Vella, Danielle Rijs, Nick Taras, Lindsay Lim, Michael Black & PiaLyck Festersen
Please read Cummins’ statement – and his request – below. Please join the many who committed today to saying no. [Candide McDonald, editor]
Australians have always been quick to define ourselves as a country where we help each other out. We pride ourselves on being fair – our national anthem even has it in the title, for God’s sake. But when it comes to marriage equality somehow we have forgotten that a fair go for all is at our core. Even worse, our elected officials don’t have the backbone to make the call on our behalf.
This means we are likely to have a plebiscite in some form. And with this plebiscite will come a whole lot of hurtful messages from the No campaigners.
Messages that will upset many of our community. Messages that may push some of us into depression or, even worse, to take our own lives.
Depending on the research you look at, people who identify as being gay or lesbian are 3 to 4 times more likely to experience anxiety and/or depression, largely due to homophobic harassment and violence. A report called Growing Up Queer, conducted by the University of Western Sydney and Twenty10, proves that the unfair treatment of non-heterosexual people is a life-and-death matter. The study found 16 per cent of LGBTIQ young Australians had attempted suicide and a third had harmed themselves, largely again due to homophobic harassment.
Luckily we can do something. After all, we are in the business of making messages. Imagine if every agency, production company, sound designer or illustrator said No to working on these harmful ads. Imagine then our friends in media also standing up and saying No to the No campaign. And brands also joining in to pledge that no harmful ads will appear on their sites or channels.
Yes, the No campaigners will find a way to make their hurtful divisive messages. But we can make it difficult for them. And more importantly, we as an industry can show our friends in the non-heterosexual community that we still believe in them and in fairness.
Help stop the harmful messages and Say No to No.
Fill in this form or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and pledge that you won’t work on the No campaign and tell us why. We will then add you to our honour roll and keep you up to date on how our movement is progressing.