Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

According to agency search consultant Avi Dan in a December 2018 Forbes article, a ” recent survey found that there are twice as many men in ads compared to women.” What makes this study so profound is that, ”
while a quarter of ads feature only men, just 5% feature only women. Women who appear in ads are generally in their 20s as opposed to those of men, which are more likely to be older, in their 20s, 30s and 40s.”

I guarantee that the next time you view an ad, you will be looking for the amount and age rage of the participants.

So where do these numbers come from? Who is the person at these organizations putting together these advertisements? In referring back to the Forbes article, all “of the top 5 major advertising holding companies, which place nearly 70% of all ad budgets, is run by men. The two-dozen or so of the global agency networks are predominantly led by men too.”

Despite the nation being years away from the Mad Men advertising industry, it appears that we all still live in a Mad Men world.

It is commonly cited that women influence 80% of all purchasing decisions, yet it is primarily men that make the final decisions on how to sell to women. Not saying that men cannot do a good job in these positions, but at the same time I’m pretty sure women would be able to do as good, if not better of a job at this.

During the second half of the article, Avi Dan discusses his company and a few things to look for to better improve the diversity and ultimate marketing strategy for corporations. As Dan puts it, at Avidan Strategies, when completing their due diligence, they ask agencies for:

  • The percentage of women V.P.s at the agency
  • The percentage of women V.P.s in the creative leadership
  • The percentage of minorities V.P.s in the agency
  • The percentage of commercials directed by female and minority directors
  • A review of third-party firms that advance the agency’s diversity agenda
  • Information on the gender pay gap

Dan and his team ask for information about V.P.s “to understand the presence of women in agency leadership.” In addition to diversity, other aspects are explored, “such as the agency’s tools and work process, innovation, integration best practices, relevancy, case histories or hiring criteria.”

Diversity most certainly needs to be improved in the advertising industry and hopefully the above points are good ways to take a look at how your company is operating and if improvements are needed.

Leave a Reply