Trailblazers event in London highlights the poor LGBTQ+ representation in advertising.
Step back for a moment and have a think about the many advertising campaigns you have seen throughout the past year. Putting any Pride-focused marketing to one side, how many of those campaigns would you say were representative of the LGBTQ+ community?
Whilst it should be agreed that businesses and brands have gotten better over the last few years at including LGBTQ+ people in their advertising and marketing, there’s still a long way to go.
One of the reasons for why brands steer away from featuring LGBTQ+ people or characters in their advertising is, according to PrideAM President Mark Runacus, a “fear of failure, fear of some kind of backlash”. Runacus, who was speaking at PrideAM’s #trailblazers event that highlighted new campaigns to tackle representation of the community. Runacus also said “we want to remove as many barriers as possible.”
PrideAM is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation that aims to promote the fair and accurate representation of LGBT+ people in advertising and marketing communications.
The PrideAM #trailblazers event was compered by comedian, broadcaster and London Night Czar Amy Lamé, and featured DIVA publisher Linda Riley, artist Katy Jalili, and YouTuber James Welsh.
Not only that but the former Culture Minister and first openly gay MP and Cabinet Minister Lord Smith was in attendance. Speaking at the event Lord Smith said:
Celebration of difference is where we want to get to. But I think in this country at the moment we’re hovering somewhere around the acceptance stage. We’ve still got to push the needle further along the spectrum. And with the help of the advertising industry we will do it.
Plans unveiled at the event by PrideAM include the highly-successful Pride Brand Makeover campaign, which challenges brands and their creative partners to “make over” a recent campaign, and re-imagine it for the LGBT+ audience.
It was also announced that the network will publish ‘Outvertising 2’, a free guide for those wanting to include LGBT+ content in mainstream advertising, this time supported by Creativebrief.
Mark Runacus explained: “Outvertising was one of the first things our volunteer-run network produced when we launched back in 2016 and it proved hugely successful.”
Details of this year’s ‘Pride Brand Makeover’ campaign will be revealed in May.
@amylame “What are the challenges you face publishing a monthly magazine for lesbians?” @LindaRiley8 “Advertising!” Where are all the brands we’re seeing submitting to #PrideBrandMakeover ? Good question Linda. @DIVAmagazine pic.twitter.com/kUisdsqoQ4
— PrideAM (@PrideAMuk) March 22, 2018