Ceding to cancel culture could see brands ‘paralyse themselves into purgatory’ – Initiative Australia

May 17, 2023 | Share this article

Media agency Initiative Australia is opening a dialogue on the impact of cancel culture on brands, urging marketers to walk back an often binary approach to contentious issues. Ahead of a session at Nine’s Big Ideas Store, hosted by Initiative’s national managing director Sam Geer, he and chief strategy and product officer, Chris Colter spoke to Mumbrella about the agency’s ‘Grey Matters’ report, part of its Culture Shock thought leadership platform.

“The most important thing is to be really agnostic,” Colter said. “We’re not coming out saying we’re pro-cancel culture or anti, the issue itself has created so much of a binary view. It’s very black and white, but actually like everything, in the middle, it’s the grey that matters.

“What our point of view is in this area is what you don’t want to do is stifle the conversation around cancel culture. You want to be able to explore controversial ideas, a shoot for the stars, end up on the moon-style mentality, and what we have noticed is as particularly with media being at the heart of driving a lot of cancel culture, specifically social media, we play a really strong role in its propagation, but also it’s understanding.”

The pair said brands are listening to their consumers more than ever before, but as a result “it’s paralysing them on how they should move forward”, with social media’s prevelance fast-tracking the resetting of culture standards and norms.

Read more on Mumbrella here.