As professional communicators, we pride ourselves on representing the individuals in our community in a positive light. We help them craft the reflection and the image they wish the world could see. The American Advertising Federation of Louisville (AAF) provides an analogous relationship for our industry in Louisville, Kentucky.
In light of the most recent campaign for the AAF Louisville Awards, we have decided to refrain from submitting our work for the 2017 Addy’s. We cannot support a message that does not elevate our community as a whole or reflect our ideals.
We are proud of the steps Louisville has taken to be a progressive leader in the region. We want to encourage and uphold that future-forward thinking. As communicators, it’s our responsibility to create work that lifts others up. It is also our responsibility to hold each other accountable and make each other better. If you are unsure how your creative will be received, use your resources, ask a friend to review, go to a peer in the industry, ask your audience. In these divisive times, let’s bring empathy and unity to our work.
We look forward to a more diverse and inclusive AAF in the future. Where all voices are heard and respected.
Update: AAF has responded to social media posts with this response. We do not intend to call out agencies or individuals in our critique. We’ve been in contact with many of them since this incident, and we are hopeful they are taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.