In 2017, discussions around gender and media have reached a fever pitch. Following a bruising year at the ballot box, fourth-wave feminism has continued to expand. From the Women’s March to high-profile sexual harassment trials to the increasing number of female protagonists gaining audience recognition in an age of “peak TV,” women are ensuring that their concerns are heard and represented.
We’ve seen movements for gender equality in Hollywood, in Silicon Valley — and even on Madison Avenue. In response to longstanding sexism in advertising, industry leaders such as Madonna Badger are highlighting how objectification of women in advertising can lead to unconscious biases that harm women, girls and society as a whole.
Agencies are creating marquee campaigns to support women and girls. The Always #LikeAGirl campaign, which debuted in 2014, ignited a wave of me-too “femvertising” campaigns: #GirlsCan from Cover Girl, “This Girl Can” from Sport England and the UK’s National Lottery, and a spot from H&M that showcased women in all their diversity, set to “She’s a Lady.” Cannes Lions got in on the act in 2015, introducing the Glass Lion: The Lion for Change, an award to honor ad campaigns that address gender inequality or prejudice.
But beyond the marquee case studies, is the advertising industry making strides toward improving representation of women overall? How do we square the surge in “femvertising” with insights from J. Walter Thompson’s Female Tribes initiative, which found in 2016 that, according to 85% of women, the advertising world needs to catch up with the real world?Read More