The inaugural Advertising Visibility Index, a first-of-its-kind report that delivers a data-backed review of LGBTQ representation in mainstream advertising, coupled with a playbook for brands to improve the quality, quantity, and diversity of LGBTQ inclusion in ads. GLAAD and Kantar, the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company, also released results of the Visibility Survey of U.S. consumers on perceptions of LGBTQ-inclusive advertising. The GLAAD Advertising Visibility Index launched during the 2023 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
GLAAD’s Advertising Visibility Index includes a first-of-its-kind Scorecard of over 400 ads on national broadcast television from the top ten largest advertisers. The scorecard grades an ad based on the kind of representation present, the type of LGBTQ content illustrated to audiences, how much screen time LGBTQ people were given, as well as when and where these ads aired. Ads were given a rating on a 5-point scale that ranged from Failing to Excellent.
LGBTQ People Are Nearly Invisible In Mainstream Advertising:
- Of the 436 ads on national linear television from the top ten largest advertisers, LGBTQ people received 1.42% of screen time.
- Only 3% of the ads on national linear television from the top ten largest advertisers included LGBTQ people.
- GLAAD created rating criteria for LGBTQ representation and issued a score for each ad. No LGBTQ-inclusive ads reviewed in this report are rated higher than insufficient in their representation.
- Over 70% of inclusive ads featured LGBTQ celebrities, though celebrity inclusion is the least effective driver for telling LGBTQ stories in advertising according to GLAAD and Kantar’s survey of U.S. consumers.
Findings From GLAAD And Kantar Survey Of U.S. Consumers:
GLAAD’s Advertising Visibility Index includes results of GLAAD and Kanter’s ‘Visibility Survey of 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and over:
- Consumers support pro-LGBTQ brands
- 66% of Americans feel advertisers have a responsibility to give visibility within their content for LGBTQ individuals, couples, and families.
- Gen Z is nearly 1.5x more likely to say advertisers are not appropriately representing LGBTQ people.
- Consumers are not recognizing inclusion in ads
- 64% of consumers believe LGBTQ representation is explicit enough to be noticed by most people, however,
- Less than 40% of consumers noticed LGBTQ representation in advertising in Super Bowl ads that were intended to be LGBTQ-inclusive.
- Consumers place high importance on inclusive ads featuring universal empathy and realism, more than LGBTQ celebrities.
- 54% of consumers say quality representation includes LGBTQ people in realistic stories and 54% say LGBTQ people with instances of empathy and humanity.
- Only 31% of consumers say good representation is rooted in featuring a LGBTQ celebrity.
- Nearly 80% (79%) of non-LGBTQ consumers and 88% of LGBTQ consumers agree brands should strive for multi-dimensional and human representation when including LGBTQ people in advertising or content.
From GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis:
“The ad industry is decades behind television and film when it comes to LGBTQ inclusion, but consumers are ready and willing to see the industry grow the quality, quantity, and diversity of ads. Brands that keep us invisible to appease anti-LGBTQ activists are not only missing a large and loyal consumer base today, but are missing a future generation of consumers and employees who demand that brands include LGBTQ people and other diverse communities in authentic and organic ways.”
Valeria Piaggio, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Kantar:
“Consumers have spoken — they want business to do better and are prepared to change their buying decisions if companies do not. Data from Kantar U.S. MONITOR finds that 67% of people state that it’s important for companies they buy from actively promote diversity and inclusion in their own business or society as a whole. This is why we are so excited to be partnering with GLAAD to help empower marketers and advertisers do a better job in representing the LGBTQ+ community and remove the inhibition marketers’ experience in doing this work.”
GLAAD is a leader across media industries using data-backed initiatives alongside proprietary research and reports on LGBTQ representation and visibility to advocate for media to reflect the world consumers live and do business in. Learn how to take action for LGBTQ people at glaad.org/ActNow and see our research at glaad.org/publications.
How GLAAD is Taking Action
Grounded in this year’s inaugural Advertising Visibility Index findings, here’s how GLAAD plans to accelerate acceptance and representation for LGBTQ people in advertising:
- GLAAD is appearing at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this week to speak about LGBTQ inclusion in ads and advocate for great representation in content produced by brands.
- Trainings and workshops for brands presented by the GLAAD Media Institute (GMI) trainings will include learnings and findings from the inaugural Advertising Visibility Index.
- GLAAD’s plans to create additional resources and guides for companies as well as for journalists who are covering advertising and other business issues.
- GLAAD plans to expand future iterations of this report into other platforms beyond television advertising.
GLAAD’s Advertising Visibility Index utilizes two distinct methodologies in the development of this report. The first was the development of GLAAD’s proprietary Advertising Index Rating to quantify and qualify LGBTQ inclusivity in advertising. The second was a large-scale consumer survey with 1,000 U.S. Adults 18+ in partnership with Kantar. You can find more detailed information on this report’s methodology here.
Read the full report now at: www.GLAAD.org/AdIndex
Kantar is the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company. We have a complete, unique, and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks and our innovative analytics and technology, we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.