Ad agency refutes claims ‘Say No to No’ movement is undemocratic

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 15 August 2017

The creative behind the 'Say No to no' movement against working on communications for the 'No' campaign in the vote for marriage equality has defended the movement against critics.

The movement has been called out as “undemocratic” and accused of preventing debate around the issue. 

The Australian reported over the weekend that it is being “criticised as an attack on free speech and democracy”. 

It spoke to legal academic Augusto Zimmermann who said the boycott is “a serious display of undemocratic behaviour”.

The movement was started by The Royals and creative partner Nick Cummins, who has defended the movement saying it’s no different than opting not to work for big tobacco firms.

He says likening it to working on gambling accounts, which has been raised, is not a fair comparison. 

“It’s not about telling people how they should vote, that’s up to the individual, it’s about preventing bullying and hurtful messages and protecting vulnerable people,” he explains. 

He’s glad that it’s sparked debate, and hopes that it drives more thought and action across the industry to actually make it a reality, but he is frustrated by the critics who claim the movement is trying to stop people having an opinion.

“There are rumours of agencies that will be working on these campaigns and there will be people in those agencies that will have to decide whether to say no. It will be difficult, but it’s a real situation,” he says. 

But while there will be agencies that do work on the ‘No’ campaign, as there always are agencies and creatives who work on political campaigns, or products that others choose not to, Cummins says he hopes that the movement  encourages them to “think differently and take a different strategy” if they do. 

The pledge now has more than 1200 signatories. Cummins says the next step would be to get media agencies and media owners on board to take a stand.


Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day. Need a job? Visit

comments powered by Disqus