Ad Nut
Jun 22, 2021

Australia ad pros attack 'Only one in the room' syndrome

AD NUT's PICK OF THE WEEK: A collective of Australian adlanders has made an absolutely fabulous fashion parody video to kick off an effort to improve diversity.

A collective of industry professionals representing more than 20 cultural backgrounds has launched #onlyoneintheroom, a platform aiming to increase diversity in the Australian advertising community.

The co-founders are Ant Melder, creative partner and founder of Cocoa Coffee Gunpowder, Avish Gordhan, ECD at M&C Saatchi, and Pia Chaudhuri, group creative director of BMF. 

The group points out that while Australia is a diverse country, with 30% of people born overseas, the ad industry doesn't reflect this: only 16% of people in advertising are from culturally diverse backgrounds.

The group has kicked off its efforts with a fashion parody film about the 'Trend we want to end', referring to someone finding themself being the only 'one' in the room.

The group has formed a partnership with pitch consultant TrinityP3 to develop a DEI index, designed to give agencies an indication of how their equity and inclusion practices benchmark against the general population. In addition, industry publication B&T will launch an award for diversity in its B&T Awards.


Our industry can’t correct imbalances overnight, but changemakers are emerging. This is a rally-cry for those who want to act.


Whether it’s by offering a voice, recognising the diverse people that are already in the industry, collectively bringing more young diverse talent in, or even working on eliminating biases that can hold diverse people back, we’re looking to partner with like-minded professionals and brands seeking tangible action.


This is just a start, but with the support of other like-minded folk, we’re hopeful there will be real change in the near future. Ultimately, a truly representative advertising community can only enrich our work and workplaces, and speak more effectively to a diverse Australian audience.

The collective is selling #onlyoneintheroom merch, with all proceeds going toward future projects.

Ad Nut is always the only one in the room. So if anyone knows of any other talking squirrels, please let Ad Nut know. Please.


Creative Directors: Ant Melder, Pia Chaudhuri and Avish Gordhan
Creative Team: Nadia Ahmad and Ellie Jones
Senior Account Director: Bryan Bryant-Steeds
Producer: Esta Lau
Production Company: Versus
Director: Jason Sukadana
Executive Producer: Tanya Babic
Post Production: Vs. Studio
Sound Production: Otis Studios
Composition: Lukas Farry
Music Supervision: Camille Yaptinchay
Photographer: Elaine Li
PR: Lu Borges
Talent: Agnes Soliven, Am Lall, Basir Salleh, Bryan Bryant-Steeds, Dana Al Habel, Diane Villavieja, Joelle Dulaurens, Rachel Tse, Sid De and Vanessa Akem

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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