In a week when the world of sport has been rocked by another racism scandal – this time in cricket – it inspired us to take a current pulse of where the media and advertising industry currently is in its quest to become more inclusive.
As we all know there is no denying marketing yields a lot of power when it comes to forming opinions and encouraging consumers to buy products or services and is a beacon for capitalism, which in some quarters is perceived as bad.
With this power comes responsibility and as an industry there is no doubting it can also be a force for good and help educate the public on making the world a more inclusive place.
There has been a lot of positive work in this area in the last few years from the creation of more inclusive events, workforces and campaigns, but there is a still a long way to go and many, many more people to educate.
It’s always refreshing to see sponsors and brands making a stance against those businesses and organisations who desperately need to change from the top to the bottom and pulling their support, and this has been the case with Yorkshire Cricket Club as partners have pulled budgets from an organisation which appears to be racist to the core. However, there is still a long way to go regardless of whether it is blatant discrimination, or subconscious bias.
Only yesterday there was sadness when we discovered the gender paygap has grown bigger over the last 12 months and for many females it marked the final day of the year they will be paid when you take this into account. To combat this yesterday was Equal Pay Day and it seems bonkers in 2021 we still have companies who think it’s okay to pay females less than they would a male for the same job and such a day must exist.
On a more positive note – and after a three year battle – this week female focused companies looking to promote their products such as period pants and sex toys won a three year legal wrangle to be able to advertise on the subway in New York.
It seems incredible these companies had to go through the legal channels when you think about the number of ads showcasing breast and penis enlargement throughout one of the US’s most multicultural cities, but once again its highlights the outdated traditions and viewpoints that needs changing.
Again the power of media and marketing has to continue to channel this power to become an even greater force for good and the signs are encouraging.
Over the last 18 months the most popular category across all the Festival of Media Awards programmes has been the Cause and Impact category, whereby brands are putting a cause at the heart of their marketing strategies and the results have been significant with cultural perceptions being changed, part of the planet being saved and crucially education provided on everything from LGBT to ethnicity.
The key is to keep this momentum going and to make the world a better place, however big or small the contribution.