Breaking stereotypes in advertising

3:09 PM, 19 July 2017

Advertising and stereotypes - they go hand in hand. Let’s establish a positive relationship

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wu

The way we identify is changing, but what about our storytelling?

Recognising the power of partnership to achieve progress, this industry-led initiative aims to unite leaders across business, technology and creative industries to tackle the widespread prevalence of stereotypes that are often perpetuated through advertising.

Other key organisations involved with the UnStereotype Alliance include:

  • Unilever
  • Mars
  • Johnson & Johnson (J&J)
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • WPP
  • IPG

Understanding the need to break damaging stereotypes perpetuated through advertising, this industry-led alliance will unite leaders across the business, technology and creative industries to establish positive representation of people.

Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever, says:

"We've seen true progress in our industry, but it doesn't go far enough. Our job isn't done until we never see an ad that diminishes or limits the role of women and men in society. We want to work with our peers across the industry to develop new ways of working, to share knowledge and approaches, so that we can scale the Unstereotype commitments.

We believe cross-sector collaboration will lead to sustained transformation. This is no longer just a social imperative but a business one, progressive ads have been found to be 25% more effective and deliver better branded impact."

Will Other Advertisers Follow?

Will you also support an initiative whose aim is to help to shape better perceptions that reflect realistic, non-biased portrayals of women and men? Can we individually and collectively play our part to help filter out negative advertising stereotypes?

For further details of this initiative as well as an insightful video by Keith Weed, please read the WFA's endorsement of the Unstereotype Alliance here.

Identity is changing. So should advertising. What are your thoughts on this new initiative? All feedback, queries, and opinions are welcomed to

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