ACA Statement on the Clicks Matter

Our members are committed to fostering trust between marketers and agencies and transforming the advertising and communications industry at large. The aim is clear: to positively influence and impact the professional and operational standards of all South African agencies.

Unfortunately, the Clicks matter has resulted in a negative impact on our industry, and that of the marketing fraternity. Communication of this nature brings the industry into disrepute, undoing the creatively exceptional and effective work the industry is capable of. While the brand and the retailer in question have unreservedly apologised, and the offending online advertisement has been removed, it is evident that we require further engagement and debate on how diversity within our industry impacts on issues such as this.

However, the issue raised is not simply about having a diverse team, be it in terms of the agency, brand or retailer. It is about understanding what is acceptable, and what is not, irrespective of the make-up of the professionals behind the campaign.

Diversity has many facets – gender, sexuality, race, disability – requiring consideration, yet within that, teams require individuals that are sensitive and understanding of the current discourse and social environment at any point in time.

The ACA therefore commits to holding a series of discussions with various role players and specialists in the field of diversity in order to assist the industry in understanding the interplay between diversity and communication that is transformative and non-divisive in all its executions.