A second wave of research shows nearly 80% of people globally have said it isn’t enough to have people of various ethnicities, backgrounds, and appearances in advertising but that they expect companies to do a better job at capturing people’s true lifestyles and cultures, according to new research by Getty Images. The findings were completed in conjunction with global market research firm YouGov.
The Visual GPS Summer Update also showed that 63% of people prefer to buy brands that are founded by or represent people like themselves. These results hold steady across generations and gender, with only modest differences across global regions.
“Visual GPS shows that amid the COVID-19 pandemic and despite massive changes in people’s lives, the demand for more diversity in visual communications has only increased,” Dr Rebecca Swift, Global Head of Creative Insights at Getty Images, said in a news release.
The company reports similar findings in its global customer search data:
- Searches have increased year over year for ‘diversity’ (up 133%), ‘culture’ (up 115%), ‘real people’ (up 115%) and ‘inclusion’ (up 126%).
- From May to June alone customer searches for diverse images increased by 200% and searches for images around unity and equality increased by 500%, trends that are believed to be intensified due to anti-racism protests.
This second wave of Visual GPS findings around representation is the latest effort by Getty Images to address underrepresentation and misrepresentation of different groups in visual communications. The company has spent over a decade working to break down stereotypes and create more authentic content which it has done through commercial imagery collections including Muslimgirl.com, Nosotros, The Disability Collection and Project ShowUs.
Findings around Bias and Discrimination:
- 62% of people feel they have been discriminated against, with this more common among Gen Z relative to other generations, among women relative to men, and by consumers in the Americas, relative to Europe and APAC.
- 57% of respondents in North America say they experience discrimination based on the color of their skin, compared to Europe and APAC.
- 53% of respondents in North America also see discrimination as being based in people making assumptions about their background, more so than any other region.
- In Europe, more than half (56%) of people who feel discriminated against feel so because of assumptions being made about their nationality or country of origin.
- Of people who feel they have been discriminated against, only 14% say they are well-represented in advertising and 15% in business communications.