Marketing News South Africa

Inaugural WPP Unite Awards celebrate LGBTQIA+ creative work

WPP South Africa (WPP SA) has launched the WPP Unite Awards, in partnership with LGBTQIA+ watchdogs, Mamba Online and The Other Foundation.
Source: © Mamba  WPP South Africa's newly launched WPP Unite Awards recognise and reward brands and agencies for supporting the LGBTQIA+ community
Source: © Mamba Mamba WPP South Africa's newly launched WPP Unite Awards recognise and reward brands and agencies for supporting the LGBTQIA+ community

The Awards are the first and only platform to recognise and reward brands and agencies for their support of the LGBTQIA+ community across various categories.

The inaugural awards, which seek to “un-stereotype” the community will consider creative work from the last three years, followed by eligibility for work from the last year.

Unite SA

Last year in November WPP South Africa (WPP SA) launched Unite SA, a new initiative is dedicated to uniting LGBTQIA+ individuals and taking responsibility for the role their creativity plays in shaping the nation’s narrative, in the country.

WPP Unite SA aims to leverage its influence to create spaces that celebrate diversity, promote representation, and provide support for the LGBTQIA+ community within the media landscape.

As a community, it is dedicated to uniting LGBTQIA+ employees, its allies within and beyond the organisation.

It is spearheaded by passionate individuals across the WPP network from the likes of Ogilvy, VMLY&R, Mindshare and Wunderman Thompson.

A proactive ray of light

“We are not a fight, rather we aim to be a proactive ray of light, beyond LGBTQIA+,” says Dono White, strategic planning director at VMLY&R and Unite SA Committee member.

“We are naturally a diverse community coming together to Unite the special textures and fibres we enrich the country with, and that extends to our beautiful differences be it racially, culturally, across languages, age and ability,” he adds.

Ray van der Fort, WPP SA DE&I Lead and WPP Unite SA chair says she desires to lead in shaping societal narratives, as culture is built through the stories we tell.

"WPP Unite SA goes beyond activism. It’s a celebration of expression and creativity that unites us all.

“We want to take the lead in the stories we tell society because that is how culture is built.

“History is made in the present and we want to look back on what we have put out into the world and be proud of the messages we sent.”

Real change can take place

By bringing together diverse individuals from various companies, WPP Unite SA facilitates connection and co-creation of solutions to challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals, using the influential power of brands.

With representation from some of the world's biggest brands, WPP Unite SA aims to amplify voices and drive real change.

“Together our voices are louder, and real change can take place,” says Unite SA co-chair Terry Molepo and Wunderman Thompson social media manager.

WPP SA, with its extensive global presence and significant impact on cultural narratives, recognises the responsibility to foster greater inclusivity and representation.

Further details about the awards, including sponsorship opportunities, will be released soon, with the involvement of the South African LGBTQIA+ community as judges via Mamba Online.

Should LGBTQIA+ friendly brands like to sponsor, reach out to

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