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As TrinityP3 changes its pitch process, it aims to tackle the Mad Men stigma that the industry is finding so hard to shake.
Recently, Australian pitch consultancy TrinityP3 announced the changing of their pitch process, to request agencies to sign a statutory declaration on bullying and harassment issues as well as their use of non-disclosure agreements.
TrintyP3 CEO Darren Woolley had spoken to industry bodies since March without going public but told Australian business publication AdNews they had “dismissed our suggestions and concerns”.
TrinityP3 argues the industry is trapped in a culture of silence and collective inertia, declaring that the consultancy “chooses no longer to be complicit”.
This statutory declaration requests the following three things. For:
Commenting on the declaration, Woolley said, “Over the past 12 months, all of us have heard the wave of stories where particularly female employees have been targeted, bullied, and in some instances assaulted. It has felt like Australian adland might suddenly have its “me too” moment. But then the strictures of our defamation laws worked to ensure nothing happened and the moment faded.”
He continues, “It became clear that industry-worst-practice had in part, enabled gagging the victims with Deeds of Confidentiality and other legal instruments, leaving them continually victimised, while protecting the perpetrators and their enablers”.
Industry bodies were approached to ask for the extension of existing third-party frameworks in order to achieve greater industry visibility over the extent of the problem. A recent Advertising Council Australia (ACA) Create Space report revealed that 8% of women and 3% of men reported being harassed in the past 12 months. The findings highlight that evidently, this isn’t at all a historical issue, but a current one.
Although TrinityP3 stresses they are aware “our solution is no silver bullet”, it is ultimately a step in the right direction if it is to drive forward debate on the issue of harassment in the workplace. With at least three major agency tenders scheduled for the coming months, real-world implications are expected to be imminently apparent.
According to the announcement, TrinityP3 will request that any agency wishing to participate in a pitch, complete a statutory declaration “of their status and processes regarding workplace bullying, harassment and assault”. But it explains that it is not a mandatory requirement.