NEW YORK, June 20, 2022 – BCW, a leading global communications agency, today announced that Brian Ellner, Executive Vice President, Growth and Marketing, New York, BCW, and U.S. Public Affairs Lead for WPP, has been named one of Crain’s New York Businesses’ Notable LGBTQ Leaders for 2022, and was ranked 38 of 100 on City & State magazine’s 2022 Pride Power List.
“Brian not only supports many causes that further equality, but he is also a powerful advocate and leader for clients, colleagues and the wider WPP network, serving as both a senior client adviser and executive sponsor of the agency’s LGBTQIA+ employee resource group, BCW PRide,” said Jillian Janaczek, President, New York, BCW. “I am delighted and proud to see Brian recognized by Crain’s New York Business and City & State.
Ellner led a team of WPP agencies including BCW, VMLY&R, Hogarth and GroupM, to build a pro bono campaign supporting the Equality Act for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The Reality Flag was one of HRC’s most successful campaigns, generating significant media coverage and more traffic to HRC’s website than any previous effort. It also created momentum for the Act, which President Joe Biden mentioned in the 2022 State of the Union address.
Ellner is the Executive Sponsor of WPP Unite, WPP’s LGBTQIA+ ERG which focuses on harnessing creativity across all of the agencies to achieve change. In 2021, Ellner was also named to WPP’s Global Inclusion Council.
In 2011, Ellner was the lead strategist for HRC’s successful effort to win marriage equality in New York. He also created HRC's Americans for Marriage Equality campaign and provided strategic counsel on the 2012 marriage equality wins in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. Ellner recently worked with New York City Mayor Eric Adams to oppose Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law – with a series of billboards placed throughout that state - urging Florida residents to move back to NYC, a city that supports the LGBTQIA+ community.
Ellner is also a founding board member of Athlete Ally, a non-profit focused on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports and using the powerful voices of professional athletes to support LGBTQIA+ equality. He is also WPP’s representative to the Partnership for the City of New York and is a founding board member of 5BOROS – a cutting-edge think tank focused on advancing solutions for NYC’S most challenging issues.
“I’m honored to be recognized by Crain’s and City & State for my work on LGBTQIA+ equality and I’m grateful to my BCW and WPP colleagues for supporting those efforts,” said Ellner. “While I appreciate the recognition, there is sadly much more work to do as state after state continue to pass anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation. I am committed to staying in the fight for fairness.”