During my two decades working in advertising, the role and portrayal of gender has never been more in the spotlight. While here in the UK, we’re introducing new rules to ban harmful gender stereotyping in advertising, more of the companies that we work with are asking how they can achieve greater equality in their campaigns. Our latest report offers insight and guidance to equality conscious marketers.

Of course achieving gender equality is bigger than our industry, but we have a very important part to play. The role and influence advertising plays in reinforcing stereotypes is great, and therefore the responsibility of brands to lead change is equally as important.

While it’s disappointing that many brands continue to represent a world that many of us no longer recognise, this is the drive for change. Companies risk alienating their customers if they aren’t progressive.

Being aware, and acknowledging the negative effects advertising can have, is the first step on the road to gender equality for brands. Showing a more accurate representation of the world can have equally positive effects on your audience.

As well as the ethical reason to make gender equality a priority in advertising, it makes commercial sense too. Brands such as Maltesers, Ariel and Under Armour have increased sales, engagement and positive sentiment.

Inside our ‘Gender equality in advertising: Influencing consumer behaviour for the better’ report you will find an introduction to the current climate of gender equality, the behaviours that result from stereotyping in advertising and more importantly how we can change them for the better.

We discuss why gender equality should be at the heart of your advertising strategy, using real world examples, and practical recommendations to take your brand to the next level.

The effect advertising has on a consumer’s behaviour can be damaging if not done right. We have an enormous responsibility as an agency and client partnership to change our behaviour for the good of humanity.

Gender equality in advertising: Influencing consumer behaviour for the better’ is available to download for free.

Sue Benson,

Managing Director