Friday, 27 July 2012

...drawing the ethical line...


Have you seen this clever campaign by Greenpeace?  It really makes an impact. Exactly what brilliant advertising is all about. I especially love it when fantastic campaigns are created for a positive purpose.

A few years ago, I created an ethical philosophy to guide my work as a voice over artist.  We don't all agree on what's a big ethical issue but wherever possible, I feel we have a responsibility to avoid promoting products, services and brands which conflict with our individual principles concerning human and environmental rights.

For example, we all use - and in many ways need fossil fuels right now. Yet, while some of us have benefited from oil,  it's not an industry I want to actively promote. The examples of corporate complicity by some of the industry's major players in oppressive regimes, human rights abuse and destruction of our environment suggests there's a moral issue with our dependence on this resource. Instead, I feel its more positive to voice campaigns which celebrate progressive, sustainable renewable energy. 

Sometimes though, there are grey areas and its easy to feel uncertain about where to draw the ethical line.  In these cases, we can always try to redress the balance by donating something back to charities which promote values we believe in.  These are a few of my current favourites...

R.A.V.E.N - working to highlight the plight of native people in Canada, whose lives are being torn apart by the Tar Sands project, the dirtiest form of fossil fuels on the planet. This video produced by The Cooperative (love those guys!) provides further insight.

Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society - living by the sea, these incredible and fragile creatures are perhaps closest to my heart.  Our ongoing addiction to fossil fuels is wreaking havoc with their natural environment and this organisation is "the world voice for the protection of these animals".

Greenpeace - because impressive advertising campaigns like the one shown above can only be created with our help!

Even when businesses have an ethical policy in place, it's still an ongoing challenge to find the right balance.  It's especially tough to stick to our principles when individual efforts may feel like a drop in the ocean...

On the other hand, it's really inspiring  to see even some of the biggest ad agencies working on more ethical campaigns these days. It's also amazing to hear from producers and agencies who respect and support my ethical philosophy.

Hopefully, as more and more of us focus our talents in this way - voice overs, copywriting, design and so on - we'll create positive change.   After all, even a drop in the ocean has a ripple effect...

Find out more about my Ethical Philosophy.

Vicky Watt is a leading Scottish, female voice over artist available daily from her professional studio by the sea. She'll also happily travel to your chosen studio in the city for face-to-face voice sessions. For more information, please go to her main page at She is also featured at  You can view ethical policy via my main website.