Unilever is partnering with UN Women and 20 of the world’s biggest advertising and technology players in a bid to eradicate stereotypical portrayals of gender in advertising.
Starting this week with a meeting at Cannes Lions 2017, the collective, dubbed the ‘Unstereotype Alliance’, will build on Unilever’s 2016 ‘Unsterotype’ campaign, which set out to accelerate progress around how people are portrayed in ads and branded content.
“We’ve seen real progress but it doesn’t go far enough,” Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed said.
“Our job isn’t done until we never see an ad that diminishes or limits the role of anyone 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.”
Representatives from Google, Facebook, Microsoft and WPP are among the 20-strong group committed to tackling the global issue of advertising stereotypes. The group has ambitions to expand beyond its founding members and generate momentum and scale.
According to Unilever’s own research, more progressive advertising is 25% more effective than ads which portray worn-out stereotypes and deliver better brand engagement.
“So it’s both a moral and an economic issue to build greater diversity into our business and across our industry,” Weed told Cannes Lions delegates.