Operation Black Vote, Saatchi & Saatchi and Rankin launch hard-hitting celebrity campaign targeting BAME voters

Operation Black Vote, the organisation dedicated to enabling the African British and Asian British communities to claim their place in politics, has partnered with Saatchi & Saatchi London and acclaimed photographer Rankin on a campaign to encourage the BAME community to register to vote in the run up to the UK General Election.

Tinie Tempah, David Harewood, Sol Campbell and Ade Adepitan appear in the poster campaign, which sees 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.

The campaign features four individual posters, each with the strapline: “If you don’t register to vote, you’re taking the colour out of Britain.”

David Harewood, the British actor and star of Homeland and Blood Diamond, also appears in a 60 second film, which will run online. The film reveals David covered in white make-up, which he wipes off with an appeal to viewers to register to vote so that their voices can be heard – and so he doesn't have to make this kind of gesture again.

The images will run across poster sites, and on social media via the celebrities’ and OBV Twitter accounts.

Simon Woolley, the director of OBV, said:

“The goal is clear: to encourage Black and minority ethnic communities to register to vote and vote in the 2015 General Election in the largest numbers ever.

“The broader aim is to use that political leverage to demand from all the political parties that tackling race inequality must be a priority.

“The collaboration between the creative talent of Saatchi and Saatchi, Rankin the photographer, and our international Black stars and Operation Black Vote, is unprecedented.  Many great Briton’s demanding that we have an inclusive and representative democracy. Brilliant.”

Magnus Djaba, the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi London, who has also been photographed for the campaign, added:  "I'm proud to be a Brit, and proud to be a Londoner. I am also proud of the communities I am part of because we do bring colour to the world. For me, this campaign isn't just about the BAME community, it's really about the kind of country we want to live in."

David Harewood said:

"If you want change, you have to vote for it. In order to vote, you have to register. We can't continue to stand on sidelines of the British democratic system, we are a part of it and our voices matter."

Sol Campbell said:

“I agreed to do the Operation Black Vote pictures because I wanted to highlight the problem with some sections of Britain who are not registering to vote for their future.”

For further info contact: Emily Mason, emily.mason@saatchi.co.uk, Mobile: +44 7478 733 525 

About Operation Black Vote: 

Operation Black Vote exists to ensure we have greater racial justice and equality throughout the UK. We work specifically, but not exclusively within the democratic and civic framework to deliver our objectives.

We seek to inspire BAME communities to engage with our public institutions in order to address the persistent race inequalities we face in areas such as education, health and employment.  

Our work spans a number of areas including voter registration, lobbying politicians, mentoring schemes and political leadership programmes.

After 15 years of campaigning our voice is now heard at the highest level of Government both nationally and locally, but perhaps of greater importance is the fact that we are often viewed as a beacon of hope and support for our own communities.

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