Maja Pawinska Sims 13 Sep 2018 // 9:21AM GMT
LONDON — Former Weber Shandwick associate director Asad Dhunna has launched his own consultancy, The Unmistakables, to help businesses understand minorities and create campaigns that are more representative of society.
Dhunna left Weber Shandwick, where he led the Netflix account, in July and has secured private funding to set up The Unmistakables, which aims to become “the UK's most diverse and inclusive marketing and communications consultancy.”
He said: “CCOs and CMOs are crying out for ideas that show they’re in tune with society and that they’re taking a stance. You just have to look to Nike’s latest ad to see the power of being ‘woke’. But these are rare – when it comes to creative work there is a lack of understanding of what is affecting Britain’s minorities and how to create campaigns to address them.”
Dhunna says many clients know they need to reach minority groups – not least because they represent largely untapped consumer spend – but often don’t know where to start: “People from minorities care about the same things that the majority does, but we have our own set of challenges such as marital pressures and questions around identity.
“They are fertile ground for creative campaigns that can change the world, but due to a lack of representation, huge opportunities are being missed and money is being left on the table. The Unmistakables will work with brands and their agencies to change this.”
Launch clients include vegan fashion brand LaBante London and Proud Beer, “the UK's first Queer Beer.” The agency is currently staffed by an “agile roster of freelancers” and Dhunna plans to grow the team this year to include content development and research professionals.
He also believes business leaders are struggling to find diversity in their agency partners because agencies find it hard to foster inclusive workspaces: “From my experience as someone who is categorized as BAME and LGBT – I’m a gay brown man who grew up in a London suburb but my parents are from India, and I’m Muslim – it can come down to the smallest things, such as whether there’s a non-alcoholic drink on offer when the trolley goes round, through to much bigger blockers such as promotion chat happening in the pub.”
Dhunna has been director of communications for Pride in London in a voluntary capacity since January this year.