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44% Of Adults Say They Are Not Fully Represented In Advertising

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Brands are failing to achieve diverse representation in their advertising, as more than two-fifths of consumers (44%) say they are not fully represented by the people they see in adverts, according to research across 17 markets from YouGov. Just 19% feel fully represented, with 31% in the middle (neither agreeing nor disagreeing).

This is true across the world – in 14 of the 17 markets surveyed, more people say they do not feel fully represented than the number saying they do feel represented.

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Consumers in Europe are more likely to disagree with the notion that they feel fully represented by advertising. This is most prominent in Germany (60% disagree) and Sweden (59%).

One-half (50%) of Britons say they do not feel fully represented by people in ads, with older audiences most likely to say so, at 63% of those above the age of 55 years. In the United States and Mexico, more men than women say they are not fully represented.

Evidence shows that deliberately choosing to reach diverse audiences in more contextual, more targeted and more representative spaces can have a bigger impact for brands. Inclusive casting, inclusive story and inclusion as purpose are three approaches for achieving progress, with concrete action rather than token-led stunts being vital.

WARC’s latest research explores conscious media investment and how this can support diversity and inclusion. Diageo and GSK provide examples of this in practice, while BBDO Asia explores what agencies can do. The World Federation of Advertisers has also provided a guide to potential areas of bias in the creative process.

Credit: WARC

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