Open letter from Leos: 'We have an issue and a lot of work to do'

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 17 November 2015

After a week of silence in the face of fierce debate from all corners, Leo Burnett CEO Pete Bosilkovski speaks out on the “uncomfortable truth” about the lack of gender diversity in its creative teams.

Leo Burnett has been at the centre of a raging debate, that will undoubtedly continue, and that should continue, around the lack of diversity in creative teams across the industry for the last week.

The agency itself has been uncomfortably quiet on the issue, only commenting via Twitter on Friday lunchtime. Now, CEO Pete Bosilkovski has issued a letter accepting that the agency has a problem to address, and does need to do so publicly.

Leos has been called out by numerous trade press and the mainstream media and accused of changing its management page on the website to reflect greater female presence in an effort to address the issue, rather than taking steps within its teams.

Here's what Bosilkovski has to say:

Over the last week, our company sparked and has been at the centre of a conversation about gender diversity. While one photo isn’t reflective of our company, it does highlight that we clearly have an issue to address.

And we need to publicly recognise that. This is an industry-wide issue, but we have to tend to our own backyard. We acknowledge that we [have] some work to do when it comes to gender diversity in our creative department here. It’s an uncomfortable truth, but one that we need to face up to.

The Communications Council, along with the CEO of Leo Burnett Melbourne, Melinda Geertz, have done some important work in this area. Our commitment now is to do better. We believe in diversity as a company and as individuals, and we have a policy. But clearly, we have not lived up to the standards we set in the creative department.

This is a humbling week for us, and we now need to move forward with greater intent and actions. We certainly have a lot of work to do and we are committed to turning the conversation into action.

Pete Bosilkovski
CEO, Leo Burnett Sydney

 There's been a lot said by other people too:

More action and far less talk - AdNews

Unfkable: Female creatives unite - AdNews

Leo Burnett takes to Twitter to tackle diversity storm - AdNews

The challenges behind the seven white men - AdNews

Does Leo Burnett deserve the backlash over its all white male team


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

Read more about these related brands, agencies and people

comments powered by Disqus