WPP attempted to deep dive into the issue with an all queer team to launch a new global study on LGBTQ+ marketing and its future. Titled Beyond the Rainbow, the study surveyed 7,500 LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ people in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada to get a better grip on their perceptions and experiences of viewing their identities in media and advertising. The aim is to the bridge the understanding gap in Pride marketing between the LGBTQ+ audiences and the clients.
- Among young people, queer media has become mainstream: 93% of LGBTQ+ 18–24 year olds and 85% of non-LGBTQ+ 18–24 year olds actively seek out queer media, proving its universal appeal
- The quality and quantity of queer media needs improvement: Just 38% of those who seek out queer content are satisfied with the way LGBTQ+ people are represented, and 2 out of 3 LGBTQ+ people want to see more queer representation
- More than half of LGBTQ+ people are still not completely out at work: Only 40% are completely open about their sexuality with colleagues, while 50% are open about their gender identity
- There’s an income gap when it comes to being out at work: Those on the highest incomes were 37% more likely to be completely open at work than those on the lowest incomes
- 52% of LGBTQ+ people like it when brands change their logos to the rainbow flag colours during Pride month. However, 3 out of 4 LGBTQ+ people and half of non- LGBTQ+ people think brands should do more to support LGBTQ+ people outside Pride month.
Michael Houston, president of WPP in the US, said: “In a world where the LGBTQ+ community continues to face discrimination and violent attacks, the power that our industry has to create change should not be underestimated.
"WPP has a responsibility to educate and empower our people, our clients, and our allies to positively and meaningfully influence the cultural representation of the LGBTQ+ community through marketing, advertising and communications.”
Jay Brown, senior VP programs, research, and rraining for the human rights campaign, added: “WPP’s study helps with employee engagement, customer loyalty and a company's bottom line. And beyond that, it can help make the world safer and more welcoming for us all. We’re glad to have WPP Unite as a partner in this work.”