Spikes Asia today announced it has revised its judging process for all Spikes Awards this year, in collaboration with UN Women’s Unstereotype Alliance.
The festival has issued new jury guidelines for jurors reviewing entries to ensure they consider whether the work perpetuates negative stereotypes and inequalities regarding gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability or other biases. The change is line with Spikes Asia’s efforts to have a gender balance in its jury rooms, and 49% of jury members in 2019 are women.
Joe Pullos, Spikes Asia festival director, said he is proud to join forces the Unstereotype Alliance. “We believe that these new guidelines will ensure we champion inclusive, empowering, forward-thinking ideas from across the Asia-Pacific region.”
Daniel Seymour, UN Women’s director of strategic partnerships and lead for the Unstereotype Alliance, told Campaign moving into the region with Spikes Asia was a natural step. “Asia more broadly is a hugely important part of the world, and the message and work of the Alliance is as relevant here as anywhere.”
Seymour said the new guidelines put the issue of stereotyping at the heart of the creative process. “This is a huge milestone for the Asia-Pacific advertising industry," he said. "Everyone in the industry cares about recognition, and the Spikes Asia awards are a hugely important way that this recognition is expressed. As the Unstereotype Alliance it is our goal to ensure that the industry and content creators are sensitized and conscious of the impact of stereotypes on gender equality and the criteria really advance that.”
Regarding the state of Asia’s advertising and creative industry in tackling stereotypes and biases, Seymour said awareness of the problem varies across regions, and that some are more advanced than others.
“Asia from our standpoint is just beginning and we are excited to engage the advertisers here and to ensure that more and more local players lead this great cause and help to shape societal attitudes towards a fairer and a more gender equal world,” he added.
The new guidelines were first launched at Cannes Lions in 2017.