Welcome to Optimism

Real Living Wage Pledge

We’ve been working with our friends at Creature to launch the Real Living Wage Pledge. The initiative ensures everybody working in the sector will be paid a real living wage, including interns and those on work experience over the age of 18.  So far, 34 agencies have signed up, in a bid to increase ease of entry and diversity within the creative sector.

Supported by the the AAR, Campaign magazine, IPA, Oystercatchers, and Grey London’s Diversity Taskforce, the pledge helps to ensure that nobody should ever feel a career in the creative industry, which employs more than 2m people and contributes almost £92bn to the UK economy, is unavailable to them for financial reasons.

Those who sign up to the Real Living Wage Pledge promise to pay everyone working for them or on their premises a real living wage of £10.20 per hour in London and £8.75 elsewhere, whether they be cleaners, creatives or runners, permanent or freelance. This compares to the Government Living Wage of £7.50 per hour for those aged 25 and over.

Importantly, while all participating agencies will seek accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) if they don’t already have it, the initiative includes adults on work experience and internships – areas not currently covered by the LWF’s accreditation.

Our MD Helen said: “A simple thing we can all do to remove a barrier to entry to the industry is to ensure we pay people in entry level positions enough to live. As a minimum, we pay everyone who works on our premises the real living wage and are proud to help lead the pledge to help make the creative sector more accessible to all.”

Agencies who have already signed up to the Real Living Wage Pledge are 1492, 18 Feet & Rising, Above & Beyond, AMV BBDO, AnalogFolk, Anomaly, BJL, The Corner, Creature, Droga5, Essence, Everything Different, Grey London, Integer, Isobel, Lucky Generals, MBA, McCann London, Mediacom, Mindshare, Momentum, Mother, MRM-Meteorite, MullenLowe London, Now, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sunshine, TBWA\London, Uncommon, VCCP, Wavemaker, WCRS, Wieden+Kennedy London, and Y&R London.

To find out more information and how agencies can sign up, please visit www.reallivingwagepledge.org or contact reallivingwage@creaturelondon.com.

Extra Large Piano Christmas Festival

In December we joined forces with Pitch & Sync to create the Extra Large Piano Christmas Festival, a live musical extravaganza featuring the world’s first ten octave piano, in aid of The Rhythm Studio Foundation.

A series of musical guests performed live from our public-facing Hanbury Street window, taking on the extended piano to play reimagined Christmas classics.

The amazing instrument, which made its UK debut, isn’t just packing 30% more notes, it’s got super skills that lets musicians go way beyond Christmas jingles. Concealed within the elongated piano are sophisticated speakers which feed into samplers which, in turn, feed back into the sound of the piano strings. This creates an electro-acoustic sound quite unlike anything else.

Passers-by enjoying the seasonal entertainment were encouraged to make a donation to The Rhythm Studio Foundation, which works with schools, community groups and young people who have a passion for music but lack the means and support to take it further.

Thanks to Pitch & Sync for providing the piano and to the musicians for some fantastic performances.