NEWS7 December 2016

Over half of consumers don't feel accurately portrayed by advertising

News Trends UK

UK — A new report on diversity in UK advertising from Lloyds Banking Group has revealed that only 47% of consumers feel accurately portrayed by advertising. 

Diversity crop

The report, Reflecting Modern Britain, was based on online research with 2,200 respondents from across England and Wales, a semiotic study looking into how well inclusion and diversity is reflected in advertising, focus groups, and an experiment that recreated current advertising with different protagonists.

The results showed that just 19% of the people featured in ads served in the UK include people from minority groups: while disabled people represent 17.9% of the population, they represent just 0.06% of the people featured in advertising; and while single parents represent 25% of the population, in ads they represent just 0.29%. 

The research also revealed that 65% of consumers would feel more favourable about a brand that tried to represent different parts of society. 

The experiment recreating current advertising showed that re-writing a script to include a protagonist from a minority group did not lead to a positive impact – it led to either low involvement or feelings of segregation for the minority and some audiences feeling as though they were being educated on their prejudice. 

"What strikes me most is the simple truth that people expect advertisers to reflect diverse aspects of society, but this cannot be a simple tokenistic gesture," said Catherine Kehoe, managing director, group brands and marketing at Lloyds Banking Group.

"We need to be inclusive and authentic. This, like the whole report, is powerful insight that will shape our advertising for years to come.