Procter & Gamble is partnering with GLAAD for a new initiative to advance LGBTQ inclusion in advertising and marketing, and calling on other brands to join them.
GLAAD, which is the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer media advocacy organization, shared research developed with the No. 2 consumer goods company that details advertiser concerned regarding community backlash “when inclusion misses the mark.” As a result, the two companies seek to congregate today’s top brands and ad agencies to develop resources industry executives can use to further inclusion.
P&G’s initial commitment includes more than $1 million over three years to launch, grow and sustain The Visibility Project. It’s also partnering with GLAAD to recruit Fortune 100 advertisers as partners to collaborate on a “blueprint” for companies to prioritize impact — and accurate and authentic representation — for LGBTQ inclusion in advertising.
The GLAAD Media Institute will in turn consult these partners on inclusivity and overcoming internal barriers, with The Visibility Project leveraging learnings to develop best practices and thought leadership that encourages brands to grow inclusion in ads and the industry.
All brands, agencies, and advertising data research organizations in the continental U.S. are eligible to join, receiving access to current GLAAD research, as well as custom research development and execution, proprietary data and analytics for customer insights, marketing and promotion planning, customer and distribution alignment, and corporate culture management, among other things.
Marc Pritchard, P&G chief brand officer, noted the company’s responsibility regarding equality within advertising. “As one of the world’s largest advertisers, we’re committed to using our voice and reach to increase visibility of the LGBTQ+ community in advertising and media. We strive for accurate portrayal and will continue to take a stand to eliminate bias and advance equality,” he said. “Through The Visibility Project, we hope to learn more about the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community in order to elevate their visibility in our content and communication.”
GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis added that while it’s broadly understood that inclusion of authentic LGBTQ representation in advertising promotes positive social change, corporate cultures must first transform, necessitating leadership commitments.
“The Visibility Project marks a new milestone in GLAAD’s important work with P&G to grow LGBTQ inclusion in the world of advertising and leverage the power of ads to create change and acceptance,” she said. “During this pivotal moment when brands are stepping up and stepping out on social issues, the inclusion of LGBTQ people and issues is a major opportunity and responsibility.”
The “LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media, Advertiser and Agency Perspectives” joint study was conducted in February and based on responses from 200 marketing and advertising executives.