D&AD is to review its speaker fees policy after three speakers pulled out in protest that some were being paid for appearances at next week's D&AD Festival while others were not.
Liv Little, founder of gal-dem, took to Twitter to reveal that she was no longer making an appearance at the event after she found out a friend was being paid to speak but she was not.
Sorry to disappoint but I won't be speaking @dandad next week after finding out that some speakers were being offered fees and others were not (me included). Love to @NKrystal and @paulaakpan. Praise be that all us baldies talk ????— Liv Little (@livlittle) May 14, 2019
Little told Campaign that she thinks there needs to be "a degree of transparency" around speaker fees. Nicole Krystal Crentsil and Paula Akpan, founders Black Girl Festival, have also pulled out of speaking at the D&AD Festival.
Championing accessibility and creating spaces for our community forms a huge part of our ethos and therefore we refuse to be associated with any partner organisation that is working against these values. ~~~ pic.twitter.com/SEHGInOpP1— Nicole Krystal Crentsil (@NKrystal) May 13, 2019
In a statement, D&AD said that it respects the decision of the speakers not wanting to take part and that its current policy is to not offer speaker fees.
It added: "On very rare occasions, we have entered into negotiations and some have resulted in fees or expenses being paid. The majority of speakers are not receiving any remuneration for participating and choose to join the festival to use D&AD's global platform and add their views to the many important debates that impact our industry.
"It is clear that this was not clearly and consistently communicated on this occasion and we are committed to ensuring we put necessary steps in place to communicate our policies to our community and collaborators moving forward.
"Following the recent comments and feedback from the community, we are examining our speaker fees policy for future events and will make this public once the review is complete."
The D&AD Festival runs from 21 to 23 May at The Old Truman Brewery, London.
The organisation’s chief executive, Tim Lindsay, added: "We regret that three of the speakers scheduled to appear at the D&AD Festival have decided to withdraw, as we were very much looking forward to hearing what they had to say. We understand their reasons, have engaged with them directly and will undertake a review of our speaker policy as a consequence."