Diversity Matters: Australians Are Boycotting Brands That Don’t Represent Them

Diversity hands raised up gesture

Adobe has released the Diversity in Advertising survey, revealing that diversity in advertising is important to most Australians (62 per cent).

Nearly a quarter of consumers are more likely to purchase products and services from brands with diverse advertisements, with 21per cent of respondents saying they have boycotted brands that don’t showcase diversity.

The report surveyed more than 1,000 people from across Australia and found that representation is critical for brands wanting to engage consumers.

56 per cent of people surveyed say that lack of diversity would impact their perception of a brand and 29 per cent of Australians are more likely to trust brands that have more diverse ads.

While progress has been made – with 58 per cent saying that advertising is more diverse than it was three years ago, and two-thirds of consumers agreeing that their race or ethnicity is represented in the ads they are served – there is still a long way to go.

Australian consumers advised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and African and Middle Eastern ethnicities are the least represented in ads.

Adobe APAC head of advertising cloud Phil Cowlishaw says: “In an increasingly competitive digital landscape, consumers are demanding personalised and authentic advertising, experiences and engagement from brands.

“What this research shows is that while diversity in advertising is obviously improving, the real opportunity for brands is to make their customers feel like the brand knows and cares about them through representation.”

The research found that consumers believe network TV is perceived to have the most diverse advertising today, however only 9per cent of respondents felt that digital ads were representative.

The 25 years of Digital Advertising report, also released this week, details how digital advertising has progressed, and how it has become the single most impactful platform for advertising today.

What is overwhelmingly clear is that technology is enabling brands to deliver more curated, contextual and personalised advertising through digital platforms but that there is still progress to be made in terms of representation.

“This research, alongside our partnership with the Centre for Inclusive Design, is part of our wider commitment to encourage a diverse range of voices and perspectives within organisations, to reflect the diversity of the Australian population in products, services, and content.

“We know that if brands really want to tap into this huge market of emerging consumers, they need to leverage digital, and share content that represents and inspires their audience,” says Cowlishaw.

Sectors polling better when it comes to diversity in ads are travel & hospitality, retail, and media & entertainment; while the automotive and financial industries had some catching up to do.

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