Exposure to LGBTQ Representation In Media and Advertising Leads To Greater Acceptance

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, announced findings of the “LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media” study, conducted in partnership with Procter & Gamble (P&G), the world’s largest advertiser. GLAAD and P&G’s study details how non-LGBTQ Americans respond to TV, films, and ads featuring LGBTQ representation. Results demonstrate high comfortability around viewing LGBTQ images in the media, favorability towards brands with LGBTQ-inclusive advertising, and that inclusive media images lead to greater acceptance and understanding (full report at www.glaad.org/inclusion.)

The power of LGBTQ+ visibility in advertising is also addressed in “They Will See You,” a new film from P&G and CNN’s Great Big Story launching May 28. In the film, which is the third in the series following last year’s “Out of the Shadows” and 2018’s “The Words Matter,” we hear why representation in advertising and media matters from LGBTQ organizations like GLAAD, LGBTQ consumers, and members of the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, among others. The film showcases the impact that inclusion can have on local communities and how global brands can increase the visibility of marginalized people everywhere. 

The “LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media” study was conducted among a national sample of U.S. adults using a sample sourced by research firm Cint. 

The findings reveal that non-LGBTQ Americans who had been exposed to LGBTQ people in media were more likely to accept LGBTQ people and be supportive of LGBTQ issues in comparison to respondents who had not been exposed to LGBTQ people in the media.

  • 48% of respondents who had been exposed to LGBTQ people in the media say they are more accepting of gay and lesbian people over the past few years when compared to the respondents who had not recently seen LGBTQ people in the media (35%).
  • 45% of respondents who had been exposed to LGBTQ people in the media say they are more accepting of bisexual people over the past few years when compared to the respondents who had not recently seen LGBTQ people in the media (31%).
  • 41% of respondents who had been exposed to LGBTQ people in the media say they are more accepting of non-binary people over the past few years when compared to the respondents who had not recently seen LGBTQ people in the media (30%).
  • 80% of respondents who had been exposed to LGBTQ people in the media say they are more supportive of equal rights for LGBTQ people when compared to the respondents who had not recently seen LGBTQ people in the media (70%).

The study found that non-LGBTQ consumers exposed to LGBTQ people in the media had higher levels of comfortability with LGBTQ people in their daily lives.

  • 72% of respondents who had been exposed to LGBTQ people in the media were more likely to be comfortable learning a family member was LGBTQ, compared to those who had not (66%).
  • 79% of respondents who had been exposed to LGBTQ people in the media were more likely to be comfortable having a new LGBTQ family with children move into their neighborhood when compared to respondents who had not (72%).
  • 69% of respondents who had been exposed to LGBTQ people in the media were more likely to be comfortable starting a conversation with people whose gender is unclear when compared to respondents who had not (60%).
  • 81% of respondents who had been exposed to LGBTQ people in the media were more likely to be comfortable starting a conversation with people whose sexual orientation is different than their own when compared to respondents who had not (76%).
  • 73% of respondents who had been exposed to LGBTQ people in the media were more likely to be comfortable learning their doctor is gay, lesbian or bisexual when compared to respondents who had not (67%).

Respondents also looked favorably upon companies who included LGBTQ people in their advertisements. 

  • 86% of respondents believe it reflects the company’s support of LGBTQ rights.
  • 85% of respondents believe it reflects the company’s commitment to offering products to all types of customers.
  • 82% of respondents believe that it reflects the company’s value for all kinds of diversity.
  • 80% of respondents believe that it reflects that the company is making a statement about the importance of recognizing LGBTQ people.

“The findings of this study send a strong message to brands and media outlets that including LGBTQ people in ads, films, and TV is good for business and good for the world,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, when media consumption is up and when media outlets serve as lifelines for LGBTQ people in isolation, companies should recognize that now is the right time to grow the quality and quantity of LGBTQ people in advertising. Significant work still needs to be done given the history of bias in LGBTQ representation, but leaders like P&G are raising the bar and bringing other powerful brands to the table.”

While the findings from this study show positive progress, there is still significant work that needs to be done in order to ensure that companies and brands are including LGBTQ people in their ads and marketing to the LGBTQ community in authentic, positive, and impactful ways.

“P&G is committed to the accurate and realistic portrayal of the LGBTQ community in advertising and media. We are building LGBTQ marketing into the fabric of how we build brands by understanding invaluable insights that not only responsibly represent the values and culture of the LGBTQ community, but also link closely to the character of our brands—never stereotyping, never misappropriating,” said P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard. “But we all have a lot to learn and we are truly at the beginning of our journey to master LGBTQ inclusion in our brand building efforts.”

In response to these critical gaps, GLAAD, P&G, and the Association of National Advertisers’ Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) announced that they are developing best in class practices and standards for LGBTQ inclusion and segment specific advertising and marketing. The best practices developed through this partnership will create accountability through CIIM™, the Cultural Insights Impact Measure™, which measures the cultural relevance of ads and content and their impact on sales. These standards across the industry will provide an effective framework for LGBTQ inclusion and segment specific advertising that ensures brands and companies prioritize impact, as well as accurate and authentic representation.

“It’s important that we engage more deeply with partners like GLAAD, the ANA/AIMM and others to develop best-in-class practices for LGBTQ inclusion. The community faces challenging obstacles and it’s my hope that this work will allow everyone in our industry to come together and use our collective voice for good – to drive acceptance, inclusion and love for humanity,” says Pritchard.

For more than a year, GLAAD and P&G have been strategic partners helping to drive responsible LGBTQ inclusion across the advertising industry as a force for good. In June 2019, P&G brand Pantene announced its official partnership with GLAAD through the launch of “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m BeautifuLGBTQ+” campaign, featuring a range of people within the LGBTQ community and their own unique stories of transformation. At the end of 2019, Ellen DeGeneres premiered Pantene’s “Home for the Holidays” ad, which featured members of the Trans Chorus of LA and was created in partnership with GLAAD. P&G has released some of the other most memorable LGBTQ-inclusive ads within the past year, including Gillette’s “First Shave” ad featuring a young Black transgender man shaving with his dad, showcasing a diverse group of trans people speaking about the importance of hair to them. Earlier this year, GLAAD also worked with P&G and the Ariadne Getty Foundation to bring the discussion about the importance of LGBTQ inclusion in advertising during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.


Methodology:

The “LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media” study was conducted online between November and December 2019, among a national sample of 2031 non-LGBTQ U.S. adults, age 18 or over using sample sourced by Cint (a leading sample supplier and aggregator, with access to over 50 million panel members worldwide).

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 www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.

About P&G:

P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit https://www.pg.com/ for the latest news and information about P&G and its brands.

 

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