Transport for London launched its Diversity in Advertising competition in 2018 to address stereotypes, tokenism and lack of representation seen in campaigns across its ad space. The first competition focused on gender inequality, and its second – whose winner was just announced as underwear brand Nubian Skin – looked for “authentic portrayals of people from our Black, Asian or minority ethnic communities, with realistic depth and resonance”. The brand specialises in underwear and hosiery for people of colour, and will receive half a million pounds worth of advertising space across the TfL rail and bus network.
Nubian Skin was founded by Ade Hassan after struggling to find nude colour underwear in “her own nude” skin tone, and was launched in London but has grown to ship globally. The TfL prize-winning campaign asks “What does being Black mean to you?” and employs the tagline “A different kind of nude,” featuring photography by Cass Michael and a film by Method Films.
Hassan told The Drum that her company’s campaign will be used to challenge advertising’s “one-dimensional view of blackness”.
TfL’s brief asked for authentic portrayals of people from the BAME communities, with “realistic depth and resonance”. The work was required to reflect diversity within groups, as well as between them, and was judged by a panel including Engine’s Ete Davies, Vogue’s Vanessa Kingori and TfL’s director of diversity and inclusion, Staynton Brown.
“London's rich diversity and proud tradition of openness towards people of all faiths, nationalities and backgrounds, is what truly defines us and sets us apart as the greatest city in the world,” TfL said in a statement. “We want to see this represented in our advertising.”
Nubian Skin: A Different Kind of Nude