WFA launches world’s first global census of the marketing and advertising industry
World Federation of Advertisers, WFA, is launching the world’s first-ever global census of the marketing and advertising industry, designed to provide hard data on the people who are working in the profession.
The survey will assess where the global advertising and marketing industry is in relation to diversity, equity and inclusion by investigating workforce composition across the industry as well as people’s perception of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including their sense of belonging and their perception of progress.
Stephan Loerke, CEO, WFA: “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. 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.”
Working alongside Campaign, Kantar, the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) and the new global agencies association VoxComm, and national advertiser associations as well as their agency counterparts, the goal is to generate the largest and most representative sample possible.
WFA and its Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce believe that the strains and pressures of the pandemic have made it harder for many organisations to prioritise their diversity and inclusion efforts, while research has found that many women, in particular, have considered leaving the profession.
The initiative builds on work already carried out in the UK as part of the highly successful All In Census - as well as the many efforts led in the US by ANA and 4As and in other markets - with the aim of establishing a tangible baseline for the global industry, which will help inform an action plan for improvement led by WFA’s taskforce.
National advertiser associations and their agency association counterparts have confirmed participation in the census across a wide variety of countries and territories. The participating markets in this census are 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 USA.
Belinda Smith, CEO, Americas, m/SIX and Global Diversity Ambassador, WFA: “When we formed the WFA D&I Taskforce a big piece of our mission was to be a challenger in the space of DEI that kept the industry accountable to positive outcomes. I am so excited for us to undertake this work, in partnership with the world’s leading brands and agencies, where we will finally have a trusted measure of our industry’s ability to improve belonging, inclusion, and positive outcomes for all of our employees – globally. What gets measured gets done and we are overdue to provide rigor and measurement in this area to help keep ourselves and our industry accountable.”
While national associations and their agency counterparts will be driving the samples at local level with the support of Haymarket’s Campaign magazine in relevant markets, corporate members of WFA and agencies involved in the WFA Diversity and Inclusion Task Force will be driving the initiative top-down via their own employees, clients, partners and marketing supply chains. Supporting organisations include Brand Advance, Diageo, Ferrero, Grupo Bimbo, GSK, Havas, Mars, Mondelez, m/SIX and Reckitt.
The questionnaire will go live between June 21 and July 2. The results will be compiled and analysed by Kantar and the key findings will be published by Campaign’s global network of editions later in the year and presented at leading industry events in October 2021. The results will also be used as the basis for an action plan devised and led by WFA’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. The WFA intends to team up with Kantar and Campaign again in 18 months’ time to measure progress.
Tamara Daltroff, Director General, EACA and President, VoxComm: “Agencies and agency associations already have their own census in place to monitor and drive change but complementing this existing research will provide us with a wider, cross-cultural view on diversity, equity and inclusion- enabling us to continue bridging the gaps in our industry. We are aiming to drive improvement together, for the benefit of our industry now and in the future. I want to express my special thanks to every participant; getting standardised data across the globe will equip us with a global industry baseline for the first time.”