Over 100 production companies sign landmark diversity plan from the union and the commercials employers

17 November 2021

Actor Colin Salmon joined Bectu and the Advertising Producers Association (APA) today for the launch of a landmark agreement aimed at improving diversity in commercials.


Over 100 production companies have signed up to the Commercials Production Diversity Action Plan, which will address under-representation of ethnic minority workers among crew working behind the camera.

Major advertising agencies and crewing agents, including McCann World Group, Weiden & Kennedy and crewing agency Sarah Putt Associates, have also signed up to the recruitment and retention focussed Action Plan. Steps that signatories have committed to include:

  • A step-by-step guide to address under-representation, including participation in the Induction Opportunity Scheme to transfer experienced professionals into the sector, and the New Entrants Programme
  • Adopting a template Code of Conduct on all productions, and ensuring this is circulated with the callsheet
  • Adopting the new Acas-approved discrimination complaints procedure developed by Bectu, specifically designed to overcome problems arising from the extremely short production schedules which have previously been a barrier to complaints being made or investigated

Read the full Action Plan here.

Colin Salmon said: “Successful leadership knows it doesn’t have all the answers. The best, look to partner with those who ask questions. We all want our industry to work so we have to listen and learn from each other for a more cohesive, dynamic future.”

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs, said: “Important steps have been taken in recent years to improve diversity in the creative industries, but action has often been targeted at what we see on screen. The Commercials Production Diversity Action Plan sees the spotlight switch to those behind the camera.

“Bectu is proud to have worked with the APA to develop the Action Plan and I am absolutely delighted that so many organisations want to join us on this journey – with over 100 production companies along with advertising agencies and crewing agents already signed up.

“Initiatives such as the New Entrants Programme and the adoption of the new Bectu-APA discrimination complaints procedure will improve recruitment and retention of ethnic minority workers – widening the talent pool for the industry and improving working life for Bectu members.”

Steve Davies, Chief Executive of the APA, said: “We are very excited to create this first commercials production crew diversity action plan with BECTU. We should be way beyond talking about why we need diversity and inclusion by now and be focussed on making it happen. This is a means of doing that in respect of crew on commercials and the APA and all our members who have signed up to support it are 100% committed to making it work in practice to achieve real change.”

Bectu diversity officer Janice Turner added: “The Bectu-APA joint working group is a wonderful example that other sectors should follow. It was united in its determination to produce a practical plan that would deliver real progress and together we achieved it. The plan not only addresses under-representation of ethnic minority workers in commercials – its additional focus on eliminating racism and other abuse will improve everyone’s working lives. It demonstrates the great value of unions and employers working in partnership to eliminate racism.”