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Spikes Asia changes jury guidelines to champion equal representation and confront inequality

Juries will be asked to question if an entry represents deep-rooted stereotypical portrayals of gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability or other biases. Updated judging criteria delivered in collaboration with Unstereotype Alliance

The Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity has announced a revision of its jury guidelines across the judging process for all Spikes Awards in 2019. The new criteria will urge jury members reviewing entries to consider if the work perpetuates negative stereotypes and inequalities.

The juries will be asked to question whether the entry represents deep-rooted stereotypical portrayals of gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability or other biases. It represents a positive change for Spikes Asia. The festival also strives to reach a gender balance inside its jury rooms. 49% of jury members are women in 2019, representing some of Asia Pacific’s most esteemed female creative leaders.

The new guidelines are part of a collaboration with the Unstereotype Alliance. Led by UN Women, this global alliance of industry leaders from across the business, technology and creative industries believes creativity can address the portrayal and endurance of harmful stereotypes to eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes.

Joe Pullos, Festival Director, Spikes Asia, said, “We’re proud to join forces with the Unstereotype Alliance to be part of eradicating harmful stereotypes and confronting prejudice and inequality. We believe that these new guidelines will ensure we champion inclusive, empowering, forward-thinking ideas from across the Asia Pacific region. The new guidelines are delivered in tandem with the launch of the first Spikes Asia See It Be It programme for female leaders, aiming to address gender imbalance in the industry.”

Daniel Seymour, UN Women’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and Lead for the Unstereotype Alliance, said, “UN Women is excited to see the ‘unstereotyped judging criteria’ that was first introduced at Cannes Lions 2019 being rolled out globally. Spikes Asia is an important platform to advance the conversation about eliminating harmful stereotypes and creating a gender equal world. As the Unstereotype Alliance, we strongly believe that the advertising and media industry can collectively drive real change in the lives of women, men, girls and boys.”

The new guidelines were first launched at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2017. The criteria challenged jury members to use empathy when analysing creative work and encouraged the jury to reflect upon how they might feel if the person portrayed was someone they know and care about. The guidelines are embedded into the judging process at Cannes Lions and are now being introduced at Spikes Asia.

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