Diversity and Inclusion in Advertising

  • 28 March 2023

Diversity And Inclusion In Advertising 2023

ICC gender diversity statistics reveal steady progress

This document provides an overview of generally related current ICC provisions and self-regulatory rules as well as recommended industry best practices and initiatives that would apply to diversity and inclusion matters in marketing communications and advertising. It is intended to raise greater awareness and responsibility of this issue as well as an indication of the related best practices that will be considered in the forthcoming review of the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code.

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In view of the relevance of diversity and inclusion across all spectrums of society and business operations, it is important that marketers take due consideration to ensure that their marketing and advertising communications do not incite or condone any form of discrimination. Marketers can benefit from industry best practice and guidance in this area to ensure that broader social responsibility considerations are taken into account in their advertising and marketing communications.

In marketing communications, this relates to the representation and messaging used in relation to diversity and inclusion, with the onus of ensuring that discrimination and stereotyping are avoided in such areas as already set out in the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code (ICC code) such as ethnic or national origins, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation as well as social background, which would impair social responsibility in this area. Many national advertising self-regulatory (SR) codes have expanded the non-discrimination in this area to also include beliefs, marital status, stereotyping and objectification.

This document provides readers with some key reference points for industry best practice, guidance and a number of existing industry initiatives that address diversity and inclusion in advertising.

“The ICC Diversity and Inclusion in Advertising paper provides clear and authoritative best practices and guidance to both advertisers and regulators on the way to responsibly engage in marketing practices.”

Kristin Green, Chair, Global Marketing and Advertising Commission

“We welcome ICC’s paper as it showcases how advertising self-regulatory rules and industry initiatives effectively tackle the issue of diversity and inclusion to help ensure advertising is socially responsible.”

Lucas Boudet, Vice-Chair, Global Marketing and Advertising Commission