HP is taking 15 diverse creatives to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this year as part of the company’s ongoing push to promote diversity in the advertising industry.
The #MoreLikeMe diversity initiative will invite 15 creatives from the U.S., U.K. and Mexico to attend the festival this summer and participate in a number of mentoring and networking events during Cannes.
Outside of simply taking these creatives to the festival and providing them with opportunities to learn and connect with others in the industry, HP is taking things a step further, developing a post-festival plan for each participant. The idea is that each person will go on to inspire change and champion diversity within the industry.
“#MoreLikeMe complements our ongoing work to drive diversity and inclusion across the industry. We’re excited to be partnering with HP to support diverse talent in three of our key markets,” Louise Benson, executive festival director of Cannes Lions, said in a statement. “I hope the inaugural #MoreLikeMe program will inspire the industry at large, as well as provide role models and inspiration for the next generation of creatives from around the world.”
HP will work closely with its roster of agencies—BBDO, Edelman, Fred & Farid, Giant Spoon and PHD—to select the 15 rising stars who will go on to participate in the program. For its pilot year the program will only be open to candidates from those five agencies, but HP plans to extend the program in future years.
“Business powered by diversity can deliver transformative results. By partnering with our agencies to identify and elevate today’s diverse rising stars, we can continue to reinvent the creative industry to better reflect the communities we serve,” Antonio Lucio, chief marketing and communications officer at HP, said in a statement. “We are on a mission to demonstrate that diversity is a business imperative—financially, creatively and culturally—and that all businesses in our industry can and must play a role in driving systemic change.”
#MoreLikeMe ties closely to an ongoing effort from HP and its CMO to ensure that each agency it works with consistently focuses on improving the number of women and people of color working on the HP business, in senior leadership and creative leadership roles.
Last year HP released diversity scorecards from each of its agencies. The scorecards laid out the percentage of women and people of color working at each agency before and after the diversity mandate was set. The goal is that each year, the agencies will improve upon those numbers.
Tiffany Warren, president and founder of ADCOLOR and chief diversity officer at Omnicom, and Faride Schroeder, writer, director and Free The Bid ambassador for Mexico, will serve as ambassadors for the #MoreLikeMe program. The duo will help HP’s five agencies select the 15 winners.
The 15 lucky members of this pilot program will be announced in late May.