Inaugural report finds LGBTQ+ visibility in advertising insufficient, outlines a data-backed path to better representing queer audiences
All LGBTQ-inclusive ads scored in the inaugural Advertising Visibility Index study were rated ‘Insufficient’ or lower in terms of their representation of queer people
Advertisers are failing to convey the intersectionality of identities in their representations of the LGBTQ+ community
June 19, 2023, Cannes, France – Kantar, the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company, alongside GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization, today announces the launch of an industry-first collaboration focused on increasing and elevating LGBTQ representation in creative content across the advertising industry. The partnership commences with the debut of GLAAD and Kantar’s Advertising Visibility Index, a pioneering research report that delivers a data-backed reality check on LGBTQ+ representation in advertising, coupled with a playbook for brands to improve LGBTQ+ visibility in their ads.
The Advertising Visibility Index, launching at Cannes Lions 2023, is an industry first, backed by an exclusive large-scale consumer survey of 1,000 U.S. Adults aged 18 and over. The report includes an innovative, contemporary and proprietary scorecard developed by GLAAD, which acts as a benchmark of best practice for marketers, setting out its highest standards for LGBTQ+ representation, visibility and belonging in media.
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.”
Read the full report now at: www.GLAAD.org/AdIndex
Separate from this report, an analysis of Kantar’s database of over 250,000 ads found that only 1-2% of all ads in the U.S. include clear LGBTQ representation. Comparatively, the findings of this 2023 Advertising Visibility Index reiterate Kantar’s data and echoes insufficient inclusion for ads.
Creating the new Advertising Visibility Index Scorecard:
GLAAD’s Advertising Visibility Index Scorecard establishes benchmarks for the industry to show the quantity and quality of LGBTQ representation in advertising. In order to get a sense of how inclusive LGBTQ ads are right now, we created a scorecard to evaluate 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.
Quality was also considered against consumer perception. We created a consumer perception study to understand what consumer deemed important in LGBTQ representation and corporate responsibility to inclusion and measured their awareness of inclusive advertising.
- When measuring the quantity and quality of LGBTQ+ inclusive ads among the top-spending brands on TV, the study finds none of the LGBTQ+ inclusive ads received a rating higher than ‘Insufficient.’
- 88% of LGBTQ+ U.S. consumers agree brands should strive for positive,
multi-dimensional, and human representation when including LGBTQ+ people in
advertising or content.
- 79% of non-LGBTQ+ Americans also agree with this statement.
- A majority of Americans believe representation within current advertising does not
reflect the intersectionality of their identities across their communities and
backgrounds, despite such high majorities of consensus surrounding the need for
LGBTQ+ representation in advertising or content:
- 58% of LGBTQ+ Americans believe current advertising reduces people to only one aspect of their identity.
- 51% of non-LGBTQ+ Americans believe current advertising reduces people to only one aspect of their identity.
- Two-thirds of Americans (66%) feel advertisers have a responsibility to give visibility
within their content for LGBTQ+ individuals, couples, families, and communities.
- Among Hispanic/Latine communities, this figure is pronounced as a major majority (75%).
- LGBTQ+ celebrities are the least effective drivers for telling LGBTQ+ stories in advertising. Rather, displays of empathy and humanity (54%) and realistic stories (54%) tied for the most important for respondents.
Valeria Piaggio, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Kantar, commented: “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 to empower and equip everyone to be effective stewards of LGBTQ representation and visibility to reflect the world we live and do business in. Learn how to take action for our community at glaad.org/ActNow and see our research at glaad.org/publications.
GLAAD and Kantar’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.
About GLAAD:GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit GLAAD.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.