- CANNES, France
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) advanced its commitment to gender equality through a series of new actions, commitments and partnerships to increase diversity throughout the creative supply chain, leading to more accurate and positive portrayals of women in advertising and media, and driving growth and social good. P&G made its intentions and initiatives known at this week’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, calling for cooperative action to help achieve 100% accurate and positive portrayals of women in advertising and media, supported by equal representation of women and men throughout the creative and production community.
P&G is leading a comprehensive set of actions to do its part to build, fuel and connect a pipeline of diverse female talent to advertising, media and content opportunities as a systemic solution. Recognizing the importance of full industry participation, the company is working with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) #SeeHer movement and other industry initiatives, including the UN Women Unstereotype Alliance, to invite other advertisers, agencies and content developers to drive change across the commercial ecosystem.
“As the world’s greatest creative minds gather to celebrate creativity, we are committed to do our part with meaningful actions to advance gender equality in advertising, media and the creative pipeline in the next five years,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer. “We also know no company can do it alone, so we hope to inspire others to be agents of change to accelerate momentum.”
As part of its commitment, P&G has announced partnerships with industry leaders driving equal representation and positive portrayals of women in media:
- Free The Bid : Founded by Alma Har’el (of Epoch Films) in response to her personal experience of the lack of opportunities for women directors in advertising, this organization advocates for equal opportunities to bid on commercial jobs in the advertising industry. P&G and its brands are taking the pledge to promise to include a woman director on any triple-bid commercial project. In parallel, P&G’s largest agency partner, Publicis Groupe, is expanding its pledge to cover all their agencies and networks worldwide. P&G has also committed to helping expand Free the Bid worldwide over the next three years in partnership with HP Inc., and Publicis Groupe to double Free The Bid’s number of directors and expand to 20 countries.
- The Queen Collective: Oscar nominee and winner of a Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG Award, Queen Latifah, along with her production company Flavor Unit and the Queen Collective aim to accelerate gender and racial equality behind the camera. By creating distribution for films produced by diverse female directors, Queen Latifah builds on her track record of challenging boundaries in music, movies and other artistic endeavors. The initiative will initially greenlight two films produced by female directors through a major distribution partner. In 2016, women comprised only four percent of directors working on the top 250 grossing films. This creates challenges not only in film, but also in production of other mediums such as advertising. The Queen Collective will fuel the pipeline of women directors in a partnership with P&G, HP, Inc., Smirnoff, Wieden+Kennedy, Marina Maher Communications/Ketchum +, United Talent Agency Marketing and Tribeca Studios.
- Katie Couric Media: The journalist’s latest undertaking will partner sponsors with distribution platforms to create smart, thoughtful, empowering content. Inspired by her involvement on the advisory board of #SeeHer, an initiative of the Association of National Advertisers, Couric will partner with major brands to collaborate on content that reflects their mutual values and commitment to important issues. Katie Couric Media will be led by a female-driven team to produce and distribute stories in a variety of formats leveraging the power and reach of the changing media landscape, including digital series, documentaries, scripted projects, podcasts and live programing on platforms that best reach the target audiences interested in specific content.
- #SheIsEqual Summit: To share creative successes and inspire broader action for gender equality, Global Citizen and P&G will partner and co-host the first #SheIsEqual Summit on September 28, 2018 in New York during UN General Assembly Week. The event will bring together governments, private sector companies, and influencers from advertising, media and entertainment to share perspectives on gender equality, women’s economic empowerment, girls’ education and advocacy through the lens of representation of women in the media, marketing, technology and entertainment. Madonna Badger, Glass Lion jury president and See It Be It chair, will curate a “Creative Showcase” in partnership with Phillip Thomas, Cannes Lions CEO to highlight and celebrate the best work from the 2018 Glass Lions and new SDG Lions competitions that positively portrays an equal world. The ANA #SeeHer initiative will create sessions that discuss the role media plays in society and the importance of accurate representation of women and girls in entertainment.
“Gender equality is good for society and business,” said Pritchard. “Some of P&G’s best performing brands have the most gender-equal campaigns--Always Like a Girl, SKII Change Destiny, Olay Live Fearlessly...as well as Tide, Ariel, Dawn and Swiffer which show men sharing the load in household chores. It’s clear that promoting gender equality is not only a force for good, it’s a force for growth.”
P&G noted a concerted industry effort is sorely needed, citing research which has found that women and girls are inaccurately or negatively portrayed in 29 percent of ads and media programs. Furthermore, women continue to be underrepresented behind the camera: only 32 percent of chief marketing officers, 33 percent of chief creative officers and a mere 10 percent of commercial directors are women. These issues persist despite evidence that gender-equal ads perform 10 percent higher in trust and 26 percent higher in sales growth, according to the ANA #SeeHer study.
Queen Latifah stated, “I have been in the entertainment industry for decades, and I know that portraying women—and especially women of color—in a truthful way requires a diverse team both in front of and behind the camera. When we have women from diverse backgrounds behind the camera, we tell stories with sharper insights and more honesty that resonate more deeply with people.”
Couric added, “Throughout my career, I’ve worked in many newsrooms, telling many kinds of stories. My mission for Katie Couric Media is to lead a female driven-team in partnership with leading brands that share our values to develop meaningful content that will help people navigate our complicated world, promote understanding and enrich their lives.”