The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, a leading US media monitoring organisation, is to integrate operations with the Commercial Closet Association (CCA).

Founded in 2001, CCA works with advertising industry professionals to advocate for inclusive images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in advertising and maintains a comprehensive database of LGBT-themed ads.

The newly integrated GLAAD Advertising Media Programme will monitor advertising worldwide and continue to expand CCA’s unique online archive of more than 4,000 corporate, brand, nonprofit and political ads, education and training programmes and LGBT-inclusive advertising best practices for Fortune 500 corporations, leading advertising agencies and universities.

CCA organises the annual Images in Advertising Awards, the only national awards for the advertising industry.

They focus on recognising that positive images of the LGBT community set a responsible standard for ads that include gay and lesbian references.

“Commercial Closet and GLAAD share a vision of a world where we see fair and inclusive representation of GLBT people in advertising,” said Anthony Cirone, President of the CCA Board of Directors.

“Over the past year, our organisations and boards recognised the powerful synergies that would be created by combining CCA’s focus on advertising with GLAAD¹s focus on media advocacy the GLBT community. This move allows CCA to ensure that advocacy for LGBT images in advertising continues and grows in the future.

“We believe this move will enhance the work of both organisations, create a truly integrated approach to our media advocacy work and use community resources to their greatest advantage.”

CCA¹s advocacy work will be integrated into GLAAD¹s new Advertising Media Programme, joining media programmes that currently focus on national and local news, entertainment, sports media, religious media, Spanish language media and media serving communities of colour.

“Advertising is woven through every form of media and impacts awareness and understanding of the LGBT community,” said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano.

“We are excited about this new opportunity to expand the impact of GLAAD¹s culture-changing work and build upon the trailblazing work of CCA as we launch our Advertising Media Programme.”