Involvement in Charitable Projects, and Health Awareness Campaigns has been important for The Black Arts Company and it’s founder
Indeed Ian feels quite strongly that he should have at least an MBE by now but that’s another story and probably a question of time.
The recent work with Samuel Jackson for his “One for the boys” Cancer Awareness Campaign, the Companies involvement with Forces Charity “Give Us Time” and the recent work for the PFA Mental Health “Injured” project are featured elsewhere on this site but there are a couple of other examples of work worth a mention.
In 1990 Ian was invoked, in a minor way, with one of the great marketing stories of all time…the Sponsorship of Pepsi Cola by Micheal Jackson. Conceived and built by New York music company “Rockbill”.
Working on the European leg of Micheal’s “Bad” tour involved 10 dates at Wembley Stadium and the thought arose why not get the Worlds biggest Male Celebrity, Micheal Jackson, to meet, and be photographed with the most famous women in the world HRH Princess Diana.
The result was extraordinary publicity for Pepsi and over £1M going to both Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Prince’s Trust.
Perhaps the most difficult one however was a ridiculous idea for the Royal British Legion. Why not drop a poppy petal along the River Thames to remember the three million Britons killed by war during the 20th Century.
Well the aircraft, for safety reasons, would need to fly along the path of the river towards the Houses of Parliament, which following 9/11. didn’t look an easy sell
You would need to convince some 19 authorities, from MI5 to Network Rail, Scotland Yard to The Environment Agency, and the Port of London Authority to the GLA. Above all, and first of all, you needed the CAA?
But we all love the Poppy and the Legion it symbolises and supports so perhaps the reaction of these bodies isn’t surprising!
The CAA led a co-ordinated and heart warming response. The two Aircraft ( Second World War Dakotas with D-Day markings) flew along the Thames at 600 feet thanks to the temporary closure of City Airport and the re-routing of Aircraft flying into London Heathrow.
Bridges from Tower to Westminster were lit red as was, for the first time ever, the London Eye.
A BBC Outside Broadcast Unit, including a Helicam sent pictures live to the world and Six O Clock News on BBC1 and the not inexpensive event was paid for by Shell who projected moving poppies on their South Bank HQ
Nerve wracking, complicated and sometimes difficult it was a brilliant night!
An idea, some might say, worth a CBE at the very least