OBV and Saatchi: ‘A vote is vote’


Press Release 25 May 2016

With only a month to go until the EU Referendum, Operation Black Vote, has partnered again with the advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi, on their latest campaign to create a hard-hitting poster to encourage the BAME communities to register to vote in the EU Referendum.

The ‘A vote is vote’ campaign aims to empower the BAME community to use their voice - and shows that their vote carries as much weight as the other, frequently more vocal sides of the political spectrum.

The poster features an Asian woman being berated by an aggressive looking thug. The pair are seated on a see-saw - demonstrating the balance of their equivalent power - with the strap-line: ‘A vote is vote’

Many people feel that this debate, whether it’s the  Remain or the Leave  camps,  has been characterised by anger, not much objective information, ,and at times the demonization of foreigners and in particular people of colour.  Our campaign poster illustrates that.

The image will run across digital poster sites in London and Manchester, and will be accompanied by a social media campaign to raise awareness and provide easily accessible links and guides on how to register.

There are approximately 4 million BME voters in the UK, and another 400k British Commonwealth voters eligible to vote in the EU Referendum, each of whom can help to shape the country we live in the future. However, around 30% are not even registered to vote, and many of those registered do not make it to the polls.

The poster is part of OBV’s national consultation with the BAME community on the subject of Europe. OBV is running a series of nationwide events and debates to investigate and inform opinion and encourage and promote voter registration ahead of next month’s referendum.

The two final debates in the national tour will take place in Bristol on May 26thand Glamorgan on May 25th. They will continue to open up the debate to BAME communities on both sides of the EU Referendum argument as well as providing an arena for discussion of other crucial issues such as inequality.

Last year, in the run up to the General Election, Operation Black Vote and Saatchi & Saatchi worked with TinieTempah, David Harewood, Sol Campbell and Ade Adepitan on a poster campaign which saw the celebrities turn their skin colour white to demonstrate that if the BAME community does not vote, they are removing the colour and diversity from Britain.

Simon Woolley, Director of OBV, said:

Perhaps the greatest thing about democracy is that one person’s vote has no more value than another person: A vote is a vote. With some Black and minority ethnic communities still unlikely to be registered to vote we need to change their mind. These potential voters could easily decide one of the biggest questions of the last three decades - whether we remain in the EU or leave.”

Magnus Djaba, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi London added:

As a member of the BAME community, I understand better than most why mainstream political campaigning fails to cut through with this audience. This campaign turns its back on the usual political posturing and talks to the BAME community in a language we understand.”

Registering to vote takes no longer than five minutes. Sign up here: https://goo.gl/2UN5Su

The last day to register to vote is the 7th June.

(To see a bigger version, right-click on the image and select 'view image' )