NEWS16 May 2018

WFA guide to advertising gender portrayal

Asia Pacific Europe Media News North America UK

JAPAN – As part of its commitment to the #Unstereotype Alliance, the World Federation of Advertisers has launched a guide to help brands ensure their advertising shows progressive gender roles.

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The Guide to Progressive Gender Portrayals in Advertising outlines the benefits of adopting a more progressive approach from a political and social perspective, as well as the business benefits for brands, particularly given the number of purchase decisions that are influenced or made by women.

It includes practical tips on how senior marketers can bring about change in their organisations, identifying key steps that brands should take to ensure their organisations avoid gender stereotypes in advertising, such as ensuring they have diverse teams both internally and at their external partners, tracking performance, identifying a clear purpose to celebrate diversity, thinking long-term and reaching out beyond the marketing department.

The guide was unveiled at the WFA’s Global Marketer Week in Tokyo and is part of the WFA’s commitment as a founding member of the #Unstereotype Alliance, which was launched by UN Women with the support of multiple global brands including Unilever, Procter and Gamble, Mars and Diageo.

Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA, said: “Diversity comes in many forms and advertising can play a huge role in showcasing and celebrating the extraordinary mosaic of human diversity. There are many political and social reasons why brands should do this but at the end of the day there is a wealth of evidence underpinning a compelling business case to act.”

Keith Weed, chief marketing and communications officer, Unilever said: “We’ve started to see real progress, but it doesn’t yet go far enough. Our job won’t be done as long as ads still diminish or limit the role of women and men in society. I hope that this WFA guide can share knowledge and insights across global brand owners, and critically, to its 60 national advertiser associations on six continents.”