Monday, February 29, 2016

Lack of Diversity in the Advertising Industry: Jour 4470

What impact does the lack of diversity have on the advertising industry? That is nearly a loaded question. But to keep it simple, the impact is huge in my opinion.

For years we have basically seen the same ads over and over again. By that I mean, the ads are filled with the same type of people; White/Caucasian, slim fit, women or tall, buff men. There are so many cultures in the U.S. alone but yet we are only exposed to a few. It gives a false representation of society.

The Ted Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story” explains lack of diversity in advertising perfectly in my opinion. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave this specific Ted Talk in October of 2009. Her talk focuses on stereotypes and how different parts of the world are only exposed bits and pieces of different cultures that are not their own.

She shares the story of coming to America from Nigeria for college and one of the first things her roommate asked her was where did she learn to speak English so well. Adichie proceeded to tell her that English was a common language spoken in Nigeria. But, since the U.S. is only exposes the foreign speaking and poverty stricken areas of Nigeria, we assume all of Nigeria is like that.

My point is that our society’s reputation is based off what people see. Advertisers have so much power over how our society is perceived.

The employees in the industry have a strong influence on what viewers see. The lack of diversity in the work place could be considered one of the roots of the problem. According to the Marcus Graham Project, the amount of women in the industry has increased, now outpacing the men. I believe since the increase of women in the work place we have seen some positive changes concerning how females are portrayed in the media.

Some improvements:

Although, we have seen some improvements, I think we have a long way to go. We want to see change in the world, less racial and sexual profiling, and I think advertisers can help start that movement.

Lee, Wei-Na, Jerome Williams, and Carrie LaFerle. "Diversity in advertising: A summary and research agenda." Diversity in advertising (2004): 3-20.

Drumwright, Minette E., and Patrick E. Murphy. "The current state of advertising ethics: Industry and academic perspectives." Journal of Advertising 38.1 (2009): 83-108.

Ryan, Gerard, Marcel Gubern, and Inma Rodriguez. "Recruitment advertising: The marketing-human resource interface." International Advances in economic research 6.2 (2000): 354-364.

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