Personal care giant Unilever has unveiled plans to update its marketing strategy as research discovers it has ‘sexist stereotypes’ in its campaigns, as unveiled at a keynote seminar at the Cannes Lions advertising festival on Wednesday.
With just 2 percent of the adverts showing intelligent women, the company has pledged to unveil a global strategy that will ‘unstereotype’ its advertising.
Unilever Chief Marketing Officer, Keith Weed, said to The Guardian, “The time is right for us as an industry to challenge and change how we portray gender in our advertising. Our industry spends billions of dollars annually shaping perceptions and we have a responsibility to use this power in a positive manner.”
The company spends £6.3bn a year on advertising, making it the second biggest spender. In a bid to confront research that found 40 percent of women did not relate to its marketing campaigns, Unilever is said to be removing ‘outdated portrayals of gender.’
It will create a three-pronged strategy that looks at giving women an “authentic and three-dimensional” personality as well as showcasing roles that represent “aspirations and broader achievements” of women.
Unilever said, “It was globally resounding that women are ever advancing in terms of equality, structure and human rights. Yet the media and advertising specifically have been slow to reflect the changing shape of gender identity and often depict, at best, a current view of society, and sometimes a backward view.”