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Leith embraces SE Asian tradition to reach out to community


Leith has launched a new campaign with On Your Side, an organisation dedicated to supporting ESEA communities and showing they deserve to feel safe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profoundly negative effect on East and Southeast Asian communities globally.

In the early months of the pandemic, there was the rise of the Stop Asian Hate movement in the U.S with the UK also reporting a three-fold increase in hate crimes.

The California Monterey Park shooting earlier this week has only reinforced this anxiety and trauma, with 11 victims killed as they gathered to celebrate on Lunar New Year.

The new campaign uses “Spring couplets” to share a hidden message directed only to those who would be able to read them. In both Traditional Chinese and Vietnamese the couplets read “If you are experiencing racism or any forms of hate. We are here to support and protect you.”

Spring couplets are red banners that are traditionally used for blessings and good wishes on Lunar New Year. They are a set of 2 poetic phrases historically meant to protect your home, often placed at doors and entrances.

The banners have a unique QR code that takes the user directly to the On Your Side website from their phone. It’s a discreet way for people to report and find support for anti-hate crimes, whilst also helping to promote safety and protection to ESEA communities and open up conversations with the public.

The banners have been distributed to different organisations like universities, community centres, Stop Hate UK and other member groups to help the campaign reach as many people as possible.

John McPartland, creative director, Leith, said: “Partnering with On Your Side has been an inspiring and empowering way for Leith to act as a supportive ally, and collaborate on this important cause using our creativity. We worked closely with them on the positioning of this campaign, ensuring it was accessible to everyone within the ESEA communities.”

On Your Side is a new UK-wide support and reporting service for anyone in the UK who identifies as East and Southeast Asian who has experienced racism or any forms of hate. It offers a free 24-hour helpline offering support for victims of racism and other forms of hate in the UK.

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