Published 2 years ago.
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P&G has committed $1M over three years and partnered with GLAAD to work with brands and agencies to advance LGBTQ inclusion in advertising. New study finds senior marketing and ad execs recognize LGBTQ inclusion as a force for positive social change, yet worry about authentic representation.
The renewed fervor behind the social justice movement in the US, ignited by
the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police last year, has forced
the public and companies alike to re-examine a myriad of issues related to the
perception and representation of minorities and other underrepresented groups
across the country.
Companies of all sizes have made sweeping commitments to achieving racial
and broadening their understanding of gender
internally. And brands including
have called for broader representation in media — with Unilever even
removing the word
from its personal care products and advertising — in an effort to end “othering”
in the media, with a goal of challenging social prejudices and increasing
empathy and understanding.
Now, Procter & Gamble
(P&G), which has been at the forefront of the inclusivity-in-media movement
with its thought-provoking
and socially impactful
has partnered with LGBTQ media advocacy giant GLAAD to
launch The Visibility Project — a
campaign to drive and sustain LGBTQ inclusion in ads and marketing, and to
leverage the power of these media to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance.
P&G’s Pantene brand, for example, has set the bar for queer and transgender
inclusion and visibility: In 2018, Pantene Philippines gained worldwide
attention with its #StrongerTogether ad
campaign featuring transgender
supermodel Kevin Balot. In 2019, the brand launched its “Power to
Transform” campaign celebrating the broader
spectrum of beauty within the LGBTQ community, partnered with GLAAD for a
featuring the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, and partnered with the Dresscode
to help reduce the stress transgender people often experience when visiting a
hair salon. In 2020, its “Family Is BeautifuLGBTQ” series of ads highlighted
queer couples who have adopted children from different cultural backgrounds; and
in March of this year, the company’s viral ad featured a lesbian couple and
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The goal of The Visibility Project is to make this kind of representation and
visibility the norm, rather than the exception. P&G and GLAAD will bring together the world’s top
brands and ad agencies to advance LGBTQ inclusion in ads — creating and
providing tools, techniques and resources for industry executives; and using the
power of advertising to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance.
While LGBTQ inclusion in advertising is expanding, a
2020 study by
the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media found only 1.8 percent of
characters in ads from the annual Cannes Lions festival were LGBTQ. New P&G
and GLAAD research, based on interviews with advertising executives, found that
advertisers are concerned with backlash from the community when inclusion misses
the mark. The research shows a strong need for tools, resources, and best
practices when inclusion occurs.
Phase one of The Visibility Project will recruit Fortune 100 advertisers to
collaborate on a blueprint for LGBTQ inclusion in advertising that ensures
brands and companies prioritize impact, as well as accurate and authentic
representation. Based on learnings from the first stage, The Visibility Project
will develop and launch industry best practices and thought leadership that
inspire and compel other brands to grow inclusion in their own ads and in the
industry as a whole.
In addition to partnering with GLAAD on the recruitment and education stages,
P&G has committed more than $1 million over three years to launch, grow and
sustain The Visibility Project.
“Equality is not only a top priority at P&G — it’s a responsibility,” said P&G
Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard. “As one of the world’s largest
advertisers, we’re committed to using our voice and reach to increase visibility
of the LGBTQ+ community in advertising and media. We strive for accurate
portrayal and will continue to take a stand to eliminate bias and advance
equality. Through The Visibility Project, we hope to learn more about the unique
needs of the LGBTQ+ community in order to elevate their visibility in our
content and communication.”
As part of The Visibility Project’s launch, P&G and GLAAD have also released
findings from the LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media, Advertiser and
study. Conducted in February 2021, the study is based on responses from 200
marketing and advertising executives: 100 B2C advertisers with budgets of $50
million to over $1 billion, and 100 agencies representing clients with B2C
media budgets of $15 million to $1 billion.
The P&G/GLAAD study showed that — while the majority of marketing and ad execs
recognize the important social impact of responsible and authentic LGBTQ
representation — many are more concerned about the risks of inauthentic
representation and response from the LGBTQ community than with a public backlash
for including LGBTQ people. The study points to a need for better resources to
create ads, which The Visibility Project aims to develop with its partners.
“While there is broad understanding of the fact that inclusion of authentic
LGBTQ representation in advertising promotes positive social change, we first
must transform corporate cultures and secure commitments from top management to
create meaningful inclusion,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
“The Visibility Project marks a new milestone in GLAAD’s important work with P&G
to grow LGBTQ inclusion in the world of advertising and leverage the power of
ads to create change and acceptance. During this pivotal moment when brands are
stepping up and stepping out on social issues, the inclusion of LGBTQ people and
issues is a major opportunity and responsibility.”
The launch of the Visibility Project and this new research builds on the impact
of P&G and GLAAD’s 2020 LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media study — the first-ever to measure how
non-LGBTQ people in the US respond to LGBTQ representation in TV, films and
Read more results of the 2021 ‘Advertiser & Agency Perspectives on LGBTQ
Inclusion’ Study here.
For info on joining The Visibility Project,
Published May 19, 2021 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST