Ad industry moves to end gender bias at awards shows

Dive Brief:

  • The latest salvo in the battle against gender bias is directed at industry awards shows per Ad Age.
  • Pete Favat, chairman of the 2017 International Andy Awards, and Gina Grillo, president and CEO of the Advertising Club of New York, have asked other industry award shows to ban work that reflects gender bias, the publication reported.
  • The joint announcements came during a week it was reported Cannes Lions agreed to tell its jurors to not recognize work that objectifies or perpetuates negative or harmful gender inequalities.

Dive Insight:

Diversity and gender equality has been news in the advertising industry more than usual over the last couple of years. There have been a number of high profile cases of discrimination lawsuits and inflammatory statements that have cost high ranking industry execs their jobs, such as when then Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts' declared the gender discrimination debate “over” and eventually was forced to resign after a resounding backlash.

A couple of months later in October, the ANA announced its Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, a group made up of industry leaders from African American, Hispanic, Asian and LGBT backgrounds. That announcement came on the heels of a 4A’s report that found 74% of members believe diversity hiring practices are “mediocre or worse” at agencies, with 20% saying they're flat-out “terrible.”

While workplace equality and awards shows that refuse to reward creative efforts that exploit negative gender bias are worthy efforts, they also reflect what is working in the marketing and advertising world hoping to reach millennials and other younger demographics. Research from Barkley and Futurecast found that 60% of Gen Z between 15 and 19, and 58% of millennials between 20 and 35, agreed that changing ideas about gender are positive and that they were generally more receptive to ads showcasing diverse families than baby boomers.

Filed Under: Trends