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NEWS14 May 2018

Advertising not representative of lower-income households, finds study

Media News Trends UK

UK – Advertising and media are too focused on wealthy and middle-class households, with poorer sections of society negatively stereotyped, according to research from UM.

Of the 2,000 UK adults surveyed by UM, six out of 10 ( 62%) expressed concern that TV adverts often only portray wealthy homes, while two-thirds ( 63%) believe those with a lower income are negatively stereotyped in advertising.

Additionally, 41% of survey respondents from C1, C2, D and E social grades felt that media representations of those from their social background are often caricatured.

A third of respondents ( 32%) felt that public perceptions of those with low wealth have worsened over the past three years, and of those, 57% blame media coverage for the negative perceptions. When asked for their view on why poorer sections of society are not represented in advertising, 43% of respondents said it’s because it ‘makes people uncomfortable’.

The study, part of UM’s ongoing research on stereotyping in advertising, highlights the need for brands and the industry to address socio-economic diversity as well as focusing on gender, ethnicity and sexuality-based stereotyping.

Michael Brown, head of insight at UM, said: "We keep being told that successful advertising is all about authenticity, yet poorer Britons feel caricatured – if and when they appear in advertising at all. 

"Many brands are rightly taking a stance against gender- and sexuality-based stereotyping, backed by the recent moves by the Advertising Standards Authority, but there are still more harmful stereotypes apparent both in the media and in ads."



one year ago

Hi Katie - please can you let me know what does UM stand for? I'd like to be able to find this report you're referring to in your article.Thanks!!

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one year ago

Hi Luis, it's media agency UM:

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