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Advertising boss: It is a shame some advertisers are still ‘petrified’ of depicting diversity

  • The Halcyon

    I heartily agree – particularly in health and beauty advertising. Adverts for deoderants, razors, perfumes/colognes/scents, soaps and shampoos all show happy heterosexual couples and families with little/no thought of the gay/bi/lesbian alternatives. Though Sure did run that one which Quentin Crisp popped up in some time ago. Never mind inclusivity within programmes, inclusivity within advertising should be the next big campaign.

    • Silly Old Bastard

      See my post.

  • Silly Old Bastard

    Good. Something I know about. Advertising, or marketing as we call it in the trade, is incredibly expensive, unless you’re going to confine your product to the back page of Sunday newspaper magazines which are declining in sales by the year or a few billboards nobody looks at nowadays as they speak into their mobiles.

    It is television then he means. Pricey! So costly that you deal with a board member. He is out to sell his firms product. He also wants to remain on the board. Diversity can go hang in that case. Two gay men pouring gravy over the roast? Forget it! Just imagine the questions he would have to field if he took a chance. I can think of one straight off. Advertising always increases sales, but success or failure comes with the percentage increase. A campaign can be deemed a failure if the percentage was not high enough. Anyone in authority can decide on what the minimum percentage is, almost on a whim. I don’t think you’ll find any other industry where whether you have success or failure has ever been so ambiguously judged.

    It may not be the case of a white woman in the kitchen slaving over a stove while hubby and children wait at the table anymore, but people aspire to that. Identify with it. It is safe comfortable and dream inspiring. You are not just selling a product, you are selling image, security, trust. You are giving the viewer what she wants to see. Yes, I did say she. She who compiles the shopping list from memory. If you’ve done your job right, that product, the result of weeks of work, will be in her memory.

    ‘I find it strange that anyone from the Saatchis would question this perceived wisdom. I really do. They are the masters in the business.

    • Rehan

      People would have said that once about using models or extras who aren’t white in TV ads, yet the John Lewis ‘She’ ad with its noticeably multi-ethnic end was hugely popular, was it not?

      ‘Perceived wisdom’ occasionally needs to be challenged.

      • Silly Old Bastard

        Quite. But don’t expect social change with corporations paying for it. They just want to shift product, the traditional way. I’ve reread my post. The most important point is that the board member with overall responsibility wants to continue to be on the board.

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