Nationwide's commitment to diversity in its Voices campaign has defied category conventions and got people talking. When the talk of a vocal minority turned nasty with a torrent of misogynistic, racist and homophobic abuse, we had a choice to make: ignore it and sanitise our social media feeds or confront it and call it out.
We chose to do something.
First, with a call to action to the marketing industry, working with ISBA, the Metropolitan Police and Stop Hate UK, we developed guidance for brands wishing to do more than turn a blind eye.
Nationwide then went public, in partnership with Channel 4, Maltesers and McCain, to air a selection of these vile comments alongside each brand's advertising in a special ad break takeover during Gogglebox.
The campaign coaxed the silent majority into voicing their displeasure at trolling and online abuse, de-normalising the hate in doing so. It has fostered pride in Nationwide's ability to "rise to a challenge" and "do the right thing" among our colleagues working at Nationwide. It is seen as a sign by prospective employees that Nationwide is an inclusive employer. And it has meant Nationwide can continue featuring a wide range of diverse voices in our advertising, now that we are better able to support them through the process.