The Visibility Project
Across the media landscape, LGBTQ inclusion is expanding every day, but not in advertising. A recent study found that only 1.8% of characters in ads at the Cannes Lions festival were LGBTQ. Research conducted in partnership with Procter & Gamble and GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization shows that advertising executives have a strong need for tools, resources, and best practices around LGBTQ inclusion that eliminates concerns about backlash from the community when they miss the mark and that creates a pathway forward for more LGBTQ inclusion.That’s why GLAAD and P&G are launching… a new campaign to drive and to sustain LGBTQ inclusion in advertising and marketing, harnessing the power to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance so business can be a true force for good.
As part of the launch of The Visibility Project, P&G and GLAAD also announced findings from the “LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media, Advertiser and Agency Perspectives” study. The study is based on responses from 200 marketing and advertising executives about LGBTQ inclusion in advertising. Read the findings here.
REPRESENTATION DRIVES ACCEPTANCE.
What people see and hear in media – from television series to social media posts in advertising – impacts the decisions they make in the boardrooms, academia and institutions of higher education, court rooms, newsrooms, living rooms and at the ballot box. When they see and hear members of the LGBTQ community accurately and authentically included in media, they make decisions that advance equality for everyone.
VISIBILITY IS A BUSINESS IMPERATIVE.
The LGBTQ community is growing and evolving. Our research shows a 20% increase in people identifying as LGBTQ. This is especially true of the younger demographic: 1 in 6 members of Generation Z (ages 18-23) identifies as part of the LGBTQ community. This kind of growth will only continue as notions of gender and identity expand.
LGBTQ people intersect with every community: White, Black, Asian, Latin; young and old; from every walk of life. Thanks to GLAAD, the community has an influential voice in culture. We know that advertising executives recognize the opportunity to include a large and diverse community in messaging and marketing. As P&G’s Chief Brand Officer, Marc Pritchard says, “Our job is to accurately portray all of humanity, including those of all identities. Visibility is crucial, and we are committed to getting this right.”
ACCEPT THE RESPONSIBILITY.
Brands can no longer afford to isolate themselves from important cultural conversations around inclusion, equality, and equity.In response to COVID-19’s global pandemic and to the U.S.’s racial injustices and reckoning, consumers expect – and respect – brands that make social statements supporting true inclusion and equality. Consumers require more than just words or than writing a check. True investment in Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion requires strategic and sustaining planning, design, and action.
"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," GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
EMBRACE THE CHALLENGE
The P&G and GLAAD study shows that marketing and advertising executives are more concerned about the risks of inauthentic representation and public backlash from the LGBTQ community. That’s why GLAAD wants to help marketers, advertisers, creatives and agencies embrace the challenge and to get it right. GLAAD and its GLAAD Media Institute has successfully helped launch effective and powerful campaigns across all media. GLAAD is leveraging three decades of cultural changing work with studios and content creators, social media platforms, and corporate and global leaders in order to create success for other industries. As experts on growth and evolution in the LGBTQ community, and the nuances related to identity and expression, GLAAD and the Visibility Project can help brand leaders, advertisers, and agencies create opportunities for meaningful inclusion and authentic representation of LGBTQ people.