Ad agencies encouraged to waive NDAs in #MeToo movement

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 21 January 2019

Ad agencies are being encouraged to join a movement that allows individuals to partially waive non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), which often silence those impacted by sexual harassment in the Australian workplace.

OMD Australia joins other businesses that have also agreed to waive their NDAs, allowing people to make confidential submissions to the national inquiry, including KPMG, Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, EY and Medibank.

Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in the US in 2017 and the #MeToo movement picked up pace globally, AdNews has spoken with numerous people about the issue in Australia.

A number of chilling accusations have been made about several male agency leaders in Australia with many women having signed NDAs that force their silence and make it harder for the media to expose the perpetrators.

Bec Brideson, a passionate advocate for women and the CEO of Venus Communications, is calling for ad agencies to “get waiving”.

“As an industry of progressive thought-leaders and champions at understanding behaviour change – we’re standing by business and brands asking agencies to get on board – in the same way they showed their power by “saying no to no” and yes to yes with the vote for same-sex marriage,” she said.

“If your agency works as partners with any of the brands below, let’s hear your pledge to support the National Inquiry. Let’s say hello to intelligent behaviour and #waivetogether, allowing the National Inquiry to get on with it’s job.”

Following the watershed Weinstein case, there was a ripple effect across every single industry. Australian ad agency CEOs came together to form Time's Up Advertising and pledged to banish the boy's club and put an end to sexual harrassment. If you'd like to get involved email here.

The organisations that have agreed to the waivers are: Medibank, ANZ, Australian National University, Telstra, BHP, CBH Group, Charles Darwin University, Clayton Utz, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Georgiou Group, KPMG, Ernst & Young, NSW Government Sector, Queensland Public Service, Rio Tinto, University of Newcastle, VicHealth, Water Corporation, Western Power, Federation University and OMD Australia.

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