On 15 March 2023, the global marketing industry launched the DEI Census 2023. At EDAA we consider this a critical initiative that can be a drive for meaningful change and lead to actions that aim at making the advertising and marketing industry more open, inclusive, and appealing.
The initiative is supported by a coalition of 10 global marketing and advertising organisations –WFA, VoxComm, Campaign, Kantar, Advertising Week, Cannes Lions, Effie Worldwide, IAA, Global Web Index (GWI) and Adweek – , and it has also been backed by a growing list of leading companies from across the marketing and advertising ecosystem, including Bayer, BP, Danone, Diageo, Dentsu, The Estée Lauder Companies, Haleon, Havas, Kraft Heinz, L’Oréal, McCann, Philips, Reckitt, Sanofi and WPP.
The objective is to assess the current level of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sector, and map the progress made from the 2021 benchmark. When talking about DEI, the survey offers an in-depth understanding, as it assesses individuals’ feelings of inclusiveness, the level of bias experienced in the workplace, and the instances of good conduct within companies operating in the marketing and advertising industry. This effort becomes stronger when done collectively, and at EDAA we therefore feel fortunate to be able to spread the word in our role as the alliance that brings together a broad industry coalition of actors, from advertisers, agencies, media, ad tech, and platforms. Today, we call on representatives across this ecosystem to participate and lend their hand to establishing a clearer collective understanding, via a completely anonymous questionnaire that goes beyond perceptions and views, to also emphasise lived, work-related experiences, to move towards an industry that meets everyone’s needs.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are critical issues for businesses across all industries, and the advertising and marketing industry is no exception. In an increasingly complex – and diverse – world, it is more important than ever for companies to embrace DEI principles, not just for ethical reasons, but also for the bottom line.
Creativity is often considered the heart of advertising, and the greater the diversity the greater the influence on creativity, integrated with high levels of sensitivity to the varied audiences being communicated to. There is ample evidence to demonstrate that diverse teams flourish and support businesses and campaigns to build forward from a more thorough appreciation of the needs and preferences of different groups, ensuring enhanced value, relevance, and resonance.
At EDAA we not only work directly with companies that aim to demonstrate ever-increasing levels of responsibility, yet we also work with associations that represent different advertising sectors, and with the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) with its network of national advertising self-regulatory organisations (SROs) that promote and uphold advertising standards across Europe and beyond.
By prioritising DEI in their operations and keeping them at the top of the corporate agenda, businesses are not just ‘doing the right thing’ by avoiding the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes or inadvertently mislead, offend, and so forth, but also they value all their employees, making sure that they do not waste the potential that comes from a diverse team.
All these issues are directly referenced in national and global advertising codes administered by SROs, and are proactively enforced against. Therefore, promoting DEI can also help ensure that companies fulfil their obligations and commitments to act in good standing and with responsibility, protecting and enhancing their reputation in the process.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical elements for all businesses to embrace, and the DEI Census helps the advertising and marketing industry take a leading role to make a better future for itself and for society.
And with all of that in mind… please get involved. This is your chance to make your voice heard! The survey will close on 15 April, and takes only 15 minutes to complete. Thank you for your contribution.