Media Brand Strategy Future of Media

WFA diversity guide details how to ‘block hate and fund positive representation’


By John McCarthy | Media editor

January 24, 2022 | 4 min read

The WFA has launched a guide to diversity and representation media planning and buying, covering issues ranging from inclusive audience planning to measuring success.


The WFA Diversity Task Force has laid out its approach in a new report

The WFA Diversity Task Force, with the support of GARM – the Global Alliance for Responsible Media – has acknowledged several flaws in how media is bartered and has laid out its approach in new report Diversity & Representation: Focus on Media Planning and Buying.

The report has picked out four industry blind spots:

  • Inclusive audience planning to ensure audiences are diverse and inclusive at the planning stage.

  • Supporting diverse voices by making deliberate decisions on media spend and building partnerships with unique media owners.

  • Balancing brand safety with diversity by consciously managing brand suitability and safety alongside inclusion.

  • Measuring success, looking at all audiences fairly and investing in research.

The report features examples of campaigns from Bayer, Diageo, GSK, Reckitt, Ebiquity, Google, Meta and Twitter. The guide can be downloaded from WFA’s Diversity & Inclusion Hub.

WFA diversity ambassador Jerry Daykin and Diageo global media director and WFA Media Forum co-chair Isabel Massey led the initiative, claiming that media was a critical element to consider when marketers tackle diversity gaps.

Daykin explained: “The way a campaign is planned and bought can have a notable impact on reach and engagement across different audience groups. Making the right decisions can both ensure brands create more effective campaigns and, critically, play their part in funding a richer and more diverse media ecosystem.

“There is a delicate balance between ensuring we block hate speech but increasing the funding of positive representative voices, and while the solutions can get technical, they all start with advertisers asking some of these simple questions in their brief.”

Massey hinted that inclusive creative will be less effective when the audiences it will land with are excluded or omitted from any media buy. She added: “There’s still so much more progress to make and we need to work together with other brands, media owners and agencies to drive industry-wide change.”

WFA is hosting a webinar to discuss the new framework on January 24. For more information and to register click here.

Meanwhile, the WFA is soon due to announce its global markerter of the year. See more info here.

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