- Nikon South Africa’s Z50 influencers only included one place practitioner
- As a result South African agencies have called for a temporary ban on Nikon
- In response to this, Nikon has promised to restrategise their initiatives to reflect the country’s demographic
On 24 July 2020, Nikon South Africa took to social media to announce a new campaign. Titled ‘Nikon Z50 Influencers’, the campaign follows seven South African videographers and photographers as they share “the moments they capture on their Nikon Z50” cameras.
We are excited to introduce our new Nikon Z50 influencers in South Africa. Over the next few months, we will be sharing their adventures and the moments they capture on their Nikon Z50’s. Watch this space...#NikonSA #NikonZ #Zcreators #Z50 #NikonZcreators #Zdifferently pic.twitter.com/WdGabiorYB— Nikon South Africa (@Nikon_SA) July 24, 2020
Through a video, Nikon introduced us to Kyle Goetsch, Pieter Buckle, Nicole Capper, Liezel Volschenk, Austin Malema, Izelle Hoffman and Simoné Pretorius. Of the seven, only one of the influencers announced to be part of the campaign was black.
Soon after the announcement, the public reached out to Nikon SA, to say they disapproved of the campaign’s inability to be inclusive of black people, particularly women.
As a result of the campaign, founding partner and chief creative officer of Avatar Agency Group, Velokuhle Ngubane said the agency “will ban all Nikon products on set” while calling other agencies to do the same until Nikon rectifies their lack of diversity using the hashtag #NoNikonOnSet. The same stance was taken by agencies DNA Brand Architects and Academic Republic.
We keep teaching brands about diversity & inclusion. Falling on deaf ears becasue there is no ACTION that affects them financially. Well here is ACTION, our agency group will ban all Nikon products on set & call on other agencies to do the same until they fix this. #NoNikonOnSet https://t.co/SGrxxaimgp— Velokuhle Ngubane (@TheNduna) August 4, 2020
In response to the public’s disapproval and the call to ban the brand, Nikon SA issued a statement saying:
We celebrate the power of creativity through imaging, embracing diverse ideas and differences among people and cultures. We recognise that our recent influencer program launched in South Africa fell short of portraying these values that we commit ourselves to embody and project as a brand. To ensure we are better reflecting the incredible range of talent in South Africa, we are re-strategising our initiatives and will be updating the program to introduce additional creators. We are committed to promoting the power of photography and videography as a tool across all societies and communities.