Adobe’s Diversity in Advertising survey found one in five Australians have boycotted a brand because they feel it lacks diversity.
Sixty-two per cent of Australians surveyed revealed diversity in advertising is important to them. Similarly, more than half of those surveyed (56 per cent) said a lack of diversity would impact their perception of a brand. While three in ten surveyed said they found brands with more diverse representation in their advertising more trustworthy.
The report canvassed the opinion of more than 1,000 people from across Australia and found that representation is critical for brands wanting to engage consumers.
Phil Cowlishaw, APAC Head of Advertising Cloud at Adobe, 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.”
While diversity in advertising remains an issue, consumers believe progress is being made, albeit slowly.
Fifty-eight per cent agree that advertising is more diverse than it was three years ago, and two-thirds of consumers suggest that their race or ethnicity is represented in the ads they are served. However, there are still communities that remain underrepresented.
Australian consumers advised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and African and Middle Eastern ethnicities are the least represented in ads.
While Australian television is often criticised for a lack of diversity, the research found that consumers believe network TV is perceived to have the most diverse advertising today, however, only one-in-ten 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.