Outvertising, the UK’s advocacy group for LGBTQIA+ inclusion in marketing and advertising, has today published a statement calling on brands to stand their ground this Pride Month.
The statement has been endorsed by 70 organisations, including the WFA - World Federation of Advertisers, ISBA, Advertising Association, DMA, The Marketing Society, IAB UK, dentsu, Grey London, Publicis Egalite, VMLY&R, Ogilvy, Stonewall, Pride in London, WPP Unite, WACL, NABS, Trans+ Adland and GLAAD.
Outvertising calls on advertisers to continue with their Pride campaigns and recommends exercising allyship through investment and divestment. The statement includes guidance for brands on navigating the challenges of an unprecedented and coordinated backlash to Pride in 2023.
The allyship of business is essential, as government statistics for England and Wales show a 126% increase in hate crime based on sexual orientation, and a 156% increase based on Transgender identity, since 2017. The statement also includes a reassurance that corporate LGBTQIA+ allyship makes business as well as moral sense.
- Research from Portland shows 2 in 3 under 60s in the UK (66%) think it’s important to fight discrimination against LGBTQ+ people*.
- Deloitte notes that more diverse and inclusive companies have higher levels of innovation and creativity, and greater brand appeal and loyalty with consumers who want socially responsible brands.
- Looking at the US market in particular, a GLAAD study recently identified that if a brand publicly supports and demonstrates a commitment to expanding and protecting LGBTQ+ rights, consumers are twice as likely to buy that brand.
The statement comes after a string of brands in the US have buckled to pressure to withdraw or modify Pride campaigns and activations, including Bud Light and Target.
Commenting on the statement, Marty Davies (they/them), Joint-CEO of Outvertising said: “Our community urgently needs brands to deliver on their promises of allyship. Anti-LGBTQIA+ groups want to see our community erased from the media, including in our advertising. Our industry is being tested. Advertisers need to show courage and run their Pride campaigns. Politicians have given ground. The media has given ground. We can’t afford for business to give ground, too.”
The full statement can be read here.