A leader in the advertising industry has spoken out to say that he thinks it is “inappropriate” that advertisers are still reluctant to show diversity in society.

Speaking at Mumsnet’s Mumstock event in London today, Richard Hunnington, director of strategy at Saatchi and Saatchi said despite some efforts to show diversity, many advertisers were still “petrified” to depict families other than that which has become the norm.

Hunnington said: “The vast majority of the marketing community is petrified of that sort of diversity and it’s a real shame. It’s a battle we’ve been fighting for decades yet our ads still feature white women in kitchens.”

“I think it is really upsetting and inappropriate to keep representing a society that doesn’t exist,” he went on.

The Drum reports that representatives from Boots, Asda, Merlin and Saatchi & Saatchi discussed the difficulties faced on social media by companies possibly depicting more diverse images of society, and that the unless “authenticity” is achieved, criticism can be faced.

Earlier this month, US company Honey Maid responded to complaints about a pro-gay advert by printing out every negative comment, and rearranging them to spell the word ‘love’.