Staff Reporters
Jun 8, 2021

WFA, Campaign and Kantar launch first global ad industry diversity study

WFA-led initiative builds off Campaign and Kantar's existing APAC diversity study, expanding critical DEI analysis to 27 markets worldwide.

WFA, Campaign and Kantar launch first global ad industry diversity study

Campaign is proud to announce it is partnering with The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and Kantar on an industry-first global diversity, equity and inclusion survey.

The research, supported by global companies including Diageo, GSK, Havas, Mars, Mondelēz and Reckitt, as well as advertiser associations EACA and VoxComm, will run across 27 markets.

The survey will offer a global perspective on where the industry is on diversity, equity and inclusion by evaluating workforce composition and employee perception on how the marketplace is progressing on the issue. It will be live from June 21 to July 2.

The goal of the project is to establish a baseline for industry progress to inform an action plan for improvement, led by WFA’s diversity and inclusion taskforce. Kantar will analyze the results of the study, and the findings will be published across Campaign’s regional outlets later in the year and presented at leading industry events in October 2021.

Campaign, the WFA and Kantar will run the survey again in 18 months to assess progress.

“This is a historic moment for our industry. For all the talk of ‘we are in this together,’ the pandemic has shown this to be simply untrue. Inequalities have been exacerbated by recent hardships,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA, in a statement. “Anecdotal evidence suggests the industry is going backwards on diversity and inclusion. It is imperative we get a first-ever industry baseline so that we can draw a line in the sand and move forward together in improving the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry.” 

Building on APAC research

The WFA-led initiative follows the Campaign-Kantar DEI survey in Asia-Pacific, the results of which were unveiled at the Campaign Leading Change event on June 8th. The WFA plans to build the APAC results into the global findings and APAC survey recipients will be contacted to further add to the global results.

The aim of the global census is “to generate the largest and most representative sample possible” and it “will help inform an action plan for improvement”, led by the WFA’s taskforce.

The survey will run in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Greece, the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), Hong Kong (SAR), China, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the U.S.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary General, executive director of UN Women and chair of the Unstereotype Alliance, said: “Progress in diversity and inclusion across the advertising industry has been inching forward where it should be racing ahead. The recent State of the Industry report by the Unstereotype Alliance shows that mechanisms to measure and hold organisations to account are critical to the improvement that is so urgently required.

“This census is an important step to uncover the extent to which marginalised and under-represented groups are under-resourced, and to help identify a clear path for progress.”

"Campaign is delighted to be partnering with the WFA on this global diversity and inclusivity survey, which builds on the initiatives we and countless others have already undertaken to highlight both the progress being made by the industry, and the significant challenges that remain and which must be tackled,” said Jess MacDermot, global portfolio director at Campaign. “We look forward to lending our ongoing editorial and commercial support to this project, within all our global editions."

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