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. Conducted in February 2021, the study is based on responses from 200 marketing and advertising executives: 100 business to consumer (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 study showed that marketing and ad executives are more concerned about the risks of inauthentic representation and response from LGBTQ consumers than with a public backlash for LGBTQ-inclusion:
- 81% of Advertisers and 41% of Agencies agree that “an inauthentic execution of LGBTQ people and scenarios would lead to a larger backlash than not featuring them in ads at all.”
- 78% of Advertisers and “31% of Agencies agree “it is difficult to adequately represent the LGBTQ community because the community is complicated and has many nuances.”
- 61% of Advertisers and 28% of Agencies agree they are “fearful of public backlash for including LGBTQ people in advertising.”
Both marketing and advertising executives are aligned in their recognition of the important social impact of responsible and authentic LGBTQ representation.
- 61% of Advertisers and 60% of Agencies strongly agree that companies that feature LGBTQ people and scenarios in advertising are “helping consumers understand and respect LGBTQ people.”
- 56% of Advertisers and 60% of Agencies strongly agree that companies that feature LGBTQ people and scenarios in their advertising are “companies that value all kinds of diversity.”
- 56% of Advertisers and 55% of Agencies strongly agree that companies that feature LGBTQ people and scenarios in their advertising are “companies that are supportive of LGBTQ rights.”
The findings reveal agencies are more supportive and accepting of LGBTQ inclusion, poising them for a stronger advocacy role.
- While 55% of Agencies agree completely that featuring LGBTQ people and scenarios is supported by their top management, just 39% of Advertisers said the same.
- Only 33% of Advertisers and 46% of Agencies are very likely to recommend using LGBTQ people and scenarios is the company’s or client’s advertising.
- In assessing their own organization’s existing culture, 52% of Agencies and 36% of Advertisers rate their culture as “very accepting and inclusive of all communities.”