Website I’m Possible posted an article today titled  Poof! You’re gone…The invisibility of the black woman, which addresses the belief that black women are routinely being ignored by society.

Check out an extract from the article that calls out the recent Adidas Originals UK – We Are London campaign.

Adidas Originals UK also got in on the act with their 2010 campaign entitled ‘We Are London‘ not one of the campaign’s model leads who are a mix of artists in the UK grime scene was a black female. Astonishingly, with a campaign entitled ‘We Are London’ it failed to show any female Black grime musicians of which there are some and they are of the same ilk as the artists they featured in the campaign. A recent Guardian article extolls the virtues of a ‘new breed’ of female grime MC, its a shame Adidas did not feel they were worthy enough to be recognised in their campaign, which from the name, you would think show a fair representation of ‘London’.

CLICK HERE to read the article in its entirety.

6 replies »

  1. ok i came back to this article and read it thru fullly……… i agree with everything except the inclusion of ADIDAS..
    ( yes i’m sponsored by adidas) but i do feel that in the writers message
    the reference to black woman not being in any of these particular adverts..
    was kinda vague
    the adidas campaign itself is actually one the most expensive campaigns of last year to also includes black and white youth equally !!!! (fairly equally)… that point is snubbed simply because there is a lack of female mc’s in the adverts!! .. that feels like a moving of goal posts to me
    erm vv brown is in all of those shopping adverts next to twiggy…. should we as men bemoan our fleeting appearance in those adverts as well!?… not really sure about that !
    i really did take the points about the fashion models and the general invisiblity of black women in society… that is plain to see!! the mercury judge said something that others would get shot for saying!!!! as my insurance is shaky i shall refrain!!!!.. but seriously!!!

  2. After reading your response I felt it necessary to give you the clarity you need on why I included Adidas into this conversation. I feel my point was made here:

    “Astonishingly, with a campaign entitled ‘We Are London’ it failed to show any female Black grime musicians of which there are some and they are of the same ilk as the artists they featured in the campaign.”

    I use the word ‘astonishing’ because Adidas is a company that is globally renowned for historically supporting niche and street culture (well) and to see a campaign entitled: ‘We Are London’ not include one of the city’s biggest groups; the black female, is highly worrying. London is one of the most diverse cities in the world which all everyone, including women; young and mature play a huge part to make this city great. All the female MCs listed in the guardian article ( included in my piece are of ‘a similar ilk’ to those MCs in the campaign. Please note, I don’t agree with your point that those MCs included in the campaign were ‘damned’ for taking part, my observation was simple and fair that a campaign like this from Adidas has missed the opportunity to represent ‘London’ and that music category fairly. Adidas is a force on the street, in our culture and music spheres so what they say and promote is pretty influential, so it’s only right that we should make sure a fair representation of a region, culture or music scene is made. I think we’re passed the stage in 2011 where we have to accept the things we’re given ‘as is’, a great signifier of this is that we’re having this debate through a social media platform (which is great), showing we can make our opinions heard and matter. You agreed that we have seen Black females be systematically ignored and erased from representation in other industries. But, to not be represented in a campaign that focuses on a music category which is largely rooted in a youth culture that is enjoyed, cherished and supported by a wide number of black females seems out of step with your thinking, no?
    The point on how much Adidas spent on the campaign is largely irrelevant to this debate for three reasons: 1. the money that is spent by their target market including Black females either buying for themselves, their sons, husbands, boyfriends, daughters, etc. is far greater than what they put into the campaign. 2. the money youth culture (which is largely borrowed from Black culture) generates for Adidas and steers their brand growth, far outweighs what they spent on this campaign. 3. to your point; the campaign also “…includes black and white youth equally!!!!” Then why is the Black female left out when they are such an essential part of good diversity?

    The point you make about VV Brown and the M&S 2010 campaign ( I also don’t think has a place in this conversation as M&S are staying true to their brand and their consumer base. The main M&S shopper is a female and yes, some of them are Black! That’s not to say Black men or any other race apart from those represented in that campaign do not and should not buy M&S products but, M&S did not name their campaign after a region in the UK (denoting that the models used were representative of that area). Nor were M&S trying to represent a certain genre that was mainly rooted in a culture that is largely borrowed from Black British people and is largely supported by Black British youth, both female and male.

    It should also be noted that I focus on the Black female (we like the term women of colour) as this is what I’mPOSSIBLE. is set up to do. We are keen to start conversations around the experience of women of colour and issues that may only relate and affect them.
    I do think maybe you’re too close to this issue to be objective; being their brand ambassador and in the music industry may not give you the objectivity you may need to actually accept this is a gross oversight on Adidas’ behalf particularly as they are well experienced in delivering amazing campaigns that get to the core of their consumer base:

    I really appreciate hearing your opinion on this topic.

  3. i think you slapped me in the mouth ever so nicely…. yes i am to close .. i said that from the beginning.. brand…. one of there sponsored artists.. yes….
    thank you for clairfying
    i began to read it.. and then got dizzy!!!
    i will come back
    i appreciate you being so thorough!!!
    i think your point is made
    looking forward to more from your particular mission

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January 2011
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