Study: 54 Per Cent Of People Don’t Feel Represented In Advertising

Study: 54 Per Cent Of People Don’t Feel Represented In Advertising

According to a report by Facebook, more than half of audiences “do not feel culturally represented in online advertising.”

Facebook surveyed audiences in the UK, US, and Brazil, also finding that 64 per cent of respondents would also like to see more diversity in online advertising.

Analysis found that in online advertising, women are 14.1 times more likely than men to be shown in ‘revealing’ clothing, and are 4.8 times as likely than men to be shown as ‘very skinny’, reinforcing an unrealistic expectation of women’s bodies.

Women were also two times more likely to be shown performing household activities like cooking and caregiving.

Latino and Black Americans, according to the study, were one point eight times more likely to report seeing stereotypical representation in online ads.

One of the major themes was sexualisation, where UK respondents observed that gay and trans people were sexualised or shunned, while in Brazilian respondents felt that women were shown as sex symbols to attract consumer attention.

In terms of bodies, Brazlian respondents felt that people looked the same “usually with white skin and straight hair” while US respondents felt that diverse body types were lacking.

Consumers also wanted advertising to reflect representation. 71 per cent agreed with the statement, “I expect brands to promote diversity and inclusiveness in their online advertising.”

It is also advantageous for brands to reflect diversity. 61 per cent of consumers said that brands seemed more authentic when they brought diversity to their online advertising, and 59 per cent preferred to buy from brands that stand for diversity and inclusion in online advertising.

Ultimately, the research found that digital channels face challenges with regard to “misrepresentation and underrepresentation”, and that they can use these insights to “promote inclusive representation throughout the development process.”

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