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In partnership with Campaign, Kantar and agencies associations EACA and VoxComm, WFA introduces a new global industry census.
“The WFA’s global industry census is so important because it will allow us to collaboratively hold a mirror up to our industry, to identify where the gaps in real progress remain and where action is still needed” – Cristina Diezhandino, CMO Diageo
Last week, WFA launched the first global census of the marketing and advertising industry. This will provide hard data on who is working in the profession and focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion.
As well as identifying who is working in the industry, the census will also examine the attitudes towards diversity and discuss employees’ sense of belonging. The census has taken inspiration from the efforts made by ANA and 4As, as well as building on the work of the All In Census.
Describing the census as a historic moment, Stephan Loerke, WFA CEO , explains, “For all the talk of ‘we are in this together’, the pandemic has shown this to be simply untrue. Inequalities have been exacerbated by recent hardships. Anecdotal evidence suggests the industry is going backwards on diversity and inclusion”.
Indeed, for many companies, it has been harder to prioritise inclusion, and research suggests that many women have considered leaving the profession for good because of the issues exacerbated by the pandemic.
Commenting on the state of diversity, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director of UN Women and Chair of the Unstereotype Alliance says, “Progress in diversity and inclusion across the advertising industry has been inching forward where it should be racing ahead… This census is an important step to uncover the extent to which marginalized and under-represented groups are under-resourced, and to help identify a clear path for progress.”
Echoing this sentiment, Christopher Kenna, CEO and Founder of Brand Advance, says, “The WFA and its members are showing how all businesses across the industry need to move in a meaningful way from Alliance to Advocacy. This means not just saying you believe in diversity but ensuring meaningful progress is made internally and across your media and advertising”.
As such, the WFA aims to create a tangible industry baseline to improve diversity, which will ultimately inform an action plan for improvement led by WFA’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.
The Roll Out
As Cristina Diezhandino, Chief Marketing Officer at Diageo explains, “The WFA’s global industry census is so important because it will allow us to collaboratively hold a mirror up to our industry, to identify where the gaps in real progress remain and where action is still needed”.
In the spirit of collaboration, national advertiser associations and their agency association counterparts have confirmed participation in the census across a wide variety of countries and territories. They will be driving samples at a local level and agencies involved in the WFA Diversity and Inclusion Task Force will be driving the initiative top-down via their own employees, clients, partners and marketing supply chains.
The participating markets in this census are Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Greece, the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates), Hong Kong SAR, China, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and USA.
Supporting organisations also include Brand Advance, Diageo, Ferrero, Grupo Bimbo, GSK, Havas, Mars, Mondelez, m/SIX and Reckitt.
The questionnaire will go live between June 21st and July 2nd, and the results will be compiled and analysed by Kantar and published by Campaign later in the year and presented at leading industry events in October 2021. The WFA then intends to team up with Kantar and Campaign again in 18 months’ time to measure progress.
As Tamara Rogers, Global Chief Marketing Officer at GSK, explains, “To have a first ever global industry baseline to guide a compelling action plan is crucial. In marketing we speak about behaving with credibility and authenticity, this is an example of the industry putting those principles into action.”