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Online Advertising Isn’t Immune to Misrepresentation & Underrepresentation

By March 10, 2021No Comments

Facebook has released a great report with great insight into the state of marketing when it comes to the issue of diversity in the world of online marketing. More and more, there is more of a demand of consumers to see themselves represented in brands communication that speaks to them. Diversity is playing an important role in every facet of our society, including marketing by brands and the consumer demand for it.

As Facebook writes, “so we recently undertook a wide-ranging research project in partnership with experts in the field. The effort included a survey of 1,200 people, a review of more than 1,200 brand lift studies and an analysis conducted with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media of more than 1,000 Facebook video ads.” They continue, “Our goals were to explore where things stand with representation, people’s attitudes toward diversity in online advertising and the impact of diverse and inclusive representation on digital campaign performance. Fundamentally, we wanted to understand the state of diversity in online advertising and the value of representation to people and businesses.

I strongly encourage you to see all the stats here.


  • AShRPlk0PA0Representation is often lacking in online ads: Our research found that limiting and negative stereotypical representations are present in online campaigns across several areas, like race and gender, and underrepresentation across certain groups is found as well.
  • AShRPlk0PA0People want brands to do better: Many consumers do not feel they are fully represented in online advertising today; people want brands to develop campaigns that are diverse and inclusive, and they are more likely to be loyal to brands that do.
  • AShRPlk0PA0Diversity and inclusion often benefits advertisers: Online advertising featuring diversity tends to have higher ad recall, and most people (59%) say they prefer to buy from brands that support diversity and inclusion.
  • AShRPlk0PA0We all have work to do: The online advertising industry has a powerful opportunity to make online advertising more diverse and inclusive. Now is the time for all of us to take action.


  1. Recognize that diversity marketing is an ongoing process.
  2. Put in the work of understanding inclusivity.
  3. Listen to your customers.
  4. Have a diverse marketing team.
  5. Prioritize data.

Salesforce defines the six principles of inclusive marketing as:

  • Start with tone.
  • Be intentional with language.
  • Ensure Representation.
  • Consider context.
  • Avoid appropriation.
  • Counter-stereotype.
Pablo Palatnik

Pablo Palatnik

Pablo Palatnik is an industry veteran in e-commerce & digital marketing with over 20 years experience. He successfully built and sold businesses; he now serves as the VP of Global E-Commerce for cosmetic dermatology brand DS Laboratories. Pablo is the Founder of Etrend.com.

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