WPP’s Karen Blackett OBE on the connection between consumer trust and diversity

Building trust and ensuring ad campaigns — and the agencies that produce them — are more diverse and representative are two of the issues that matter most to today’s marketers.

For Karen Blackett OBE, they are not mutually exclusive. Diversity is not a problem to be rectified, rather, it’s “the solution” — and one that’s good for business.

“Bringing people in, showing the diversity of the nation in the stories we tell, is how we build trust,” explains the WPP country manager in the latest episode of Out Of Office from Google.

The series — being shared weekly by the Marketing Society — aims to provide some much-needed clarity on a fast-changing ad industry from some of the biggest names in it.

And they don’t come much bigger than WPP’s Karen Blackett, with a stellar career spanning over 25 years. Chairwoman of MediaCom UK and a celebrated champion of diversity, Campaign recently called her “the most important agency leader in the British ad industry.”

Watch now to hear how Karen is advocating an urgent need for a more empathetic approach in the pursuit of consumer trust. 

This short film is part of a 10-minute episode in which Karen expands on the business case for diversity, discussing how to navigate the on and offline experience and why she’s establishing client councils.

Watch it now on Think with Google


Out Of Office video series: U.K. agency leaders talk industry change

The agency and advertising landscape is in flux – but where some see disruption, others see opportunity. These are the game changers, industry shapers, and trailblazers. Introducing our new ‘Out Of Office’ series, in which we interview industry leaders about what’s next for agencies, advertising and brands.

Posting nine consecutive years of market growth, and with ad spend of £23.6 billion last year1, the U.K. agency ecosystem is undoubtedly one of the strongest in the world.

But those figures are only half of the story. New technology and social change has required global and boutique agencies alike to innovate and rethink their culture, strategy and even the business models they operate on. The industry's growth and success is built on a picture of new ways of working, an increased focus on diversity and balancing the relationship between data, technology and creativity.

Out Of Office is a documentary series about these changes – these agency leaders, with a little help from Google, are the pioneers for driving this change, helping agencies to adapt and grow at a pivotal time for the advertising industry.

Tune in every Wednesday on Think with Google to watch some of the biggest names in the U.K. agency landscape, to learn more about their journeys and passions, and for unique insights on a fast-changing industry.

Episode 1: Annette King, CEO, Publicis Groupe (6 Nov)
Why agencies succeed by putting people first

Annette is at Petersham Nurseries to discuss embracing creativity, the role of flexible working, and putting people first.

Episode 2: Daniel Gilbert, CEO, Brainlabs (13 Nov)
Why the old rules don’t work anymore

Daniel is rethinking the concept of a work-life balance, the rapid shift in marketing and the rules of TV advertising, at The London Science Museum.

Episode 3: Philippa Brown, CEO, PHD Worldwide (20 Nov)
Why change is on every client’s agenda

Philippa discusses balancing the relationship between data, technology and education at Google’s Digital Garage in Manchester.

Episode 4: Thomas Byrne, EVP of Merkle (27 Nov)
Why an agency is nothing more than its culture

Tom heads to the StolenSpace Gallery, London, to discuss why a strong agency culture will deliver for clients and consumers alike.

Episode 5: Karen Blackett OBE, U.K. country manager of WPP (4 Dec)
Why representing modern Britain is critical for business growth

Karen discusses creativity, consumer change, and how diversity is critical for growth, at Chiswick House & Gardens, London.

Episode 6: Rob Pierre, CEO of Jellyfish (11 Dec)
Why the advertising ecosystem doesn’t always require agencies

Rob is at his own MBER restaurant and bar to reflect on how Jellyfish is moving from traditional agency model to one of a ‘digital partner’ to brands.

Episode 7: Josh Krichefski, CEO, MediaCom EMEA (8 Jan)
Why it’s critical big agencies have the freedom to pivot

Adapting to new demands from clients, championing mental health in the workplace, and utilising the best of Google’s technology, are some of the topics covered by Josh at 3 Tribes yoga studio.