Top Marketers Tackle Bias for ROI Gain

First Gender Equality Measure from Association of National
Advertisers finds purchasing intent of consumers skyrockets more than 20
percent when gender bias is removed from ads

ORLANDO, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gender equality is not only a critical American political and social
issue, it’s also good business, and now the Association of National
Advertisers (ANA) Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE) has new
numbers to prove it.

At a meeting of the ANA board of directors yesterday, on the eve of the
largest annual marketing conference hosted by the ANA, AFE Chair Stephen
Quinn shared proprietary new data from the #SeeHer initiative with ANA
CEO Bob Liodice and the board which shows removing conscious or
unconscious gender bias from advertising increases purchase intent by
more than 26 percent for all consumers and more than 45 percent among

ANA AFE, a collective of the nation’s largest advertisers, launched the
#SeeHer initiative earlier this year after the White House identified
the inaccurate portrayal of women and girls in advertising and media as
an important social and economic issue. Launched in association with the
White House United State of Women Summit in June, #SeeHer is a joint
partnership with ANA AFE and The Female Quotient’s (TFQ) Girls’ Lounge
to increase accurate portrayals of women and girls in advertising and
media 20 percent by 2020, the centennial of women gaining the right to

To help marketers and media attain that goal, the ANA AFE has developed
a proprietary Gender Equality Measure, GEM™. The first GEM™ research
targeted advertising. Conducted in September 2016 by AFE research
partner Advertising Benchmark Index (ABX), more than 4,000 TV spots were
measured, adding new questions specific to gender co-developed by ABX,
AFE executives, and Shelley Zalis, founder, CEO, TFQ’s Girls’ Lounge.
The results showed that ads with more-accurate portrayals of women
scored significantly higher with consumers than those that did not.

In the coming months, the #SeeHer team will study and release GEM™
findings on the impact of gender bias in programming with partner TiVo;
the influence of celebrities on gender bias with partner MVP. GEM™
scores will be presented to #SeeHer members quarterly to track progress
and help the movement to reach its goal: a 20 percent increase in the
accurate portrayal of women and girls in media by 2020.

“The GEM™ score will become an industry standard for equality to ensure
that we measure what matters and create content that accurately portrays
women,” said Zalis.

In addition, the #SeeHer initiative:

  • Encourages participating ANA AFE brands to review their ads and ad
    development processes for unconscious bias.
  • Works with media partners to accurately portray girls and women within
    the content where their ads will be placed.
  • Produces toolkits for marketers, ad agencies, media agencies, and
    content creators, with a scorecard for creating ads, content, and
    programming that accurately portray women and girls.

“For us as marketers, creating communications that show women and girls
as they really are is a moral imperative,” said Liodice. “Women account
for 80 percent of all purchases and, as this data shows, advertising
that reflects the truth of their lives dramatically drives intent to buy
as well as brand reputation. I am delighted to be at the forefront of
this important industry movement.”

“The issue of gender equality continues to be a major challenge in our
country.” said Gail Tifford, #SeeHer co-founder and Unilever North
America Vice President of Media and Digital Engagement. “We need to bust
the myth that initiatives like #SeeHer limits content creation and raise
awareness for unconscious bias in advertising.”

“We launched #SeeHer so that every woman and girl will see herself
accurately portrayed in media,” added Quinn, one of the nation’s
most-influential marketers. “It’s the responsibility of every CMO to
ensure that their brand has no unconscious bias.”

About the #SeeHer Initiative

Despite the strides made in recent decades to accurately portray women
and women’s issues in the media, an unconscious bias persists against
women and girls in advertising, media, and programming. The Association
of National Advertisers Alliance for Family Entertainment launched the
#SeeHer initiative in June 2016 in a joint partnership with The Girl’s
Lounge, after the White House announced the elimination of gender bias
in media as critical to the nation’s future. The ANA AFE creates
customized toolkits for marketers, ad agencies, media agencies and
content creators, and provides guidelines and a scorecard for creating
ads, content, and programming that accurately portray women and girls.
The group’s proprietary data-tracking tool, Gender Equality Measure,
GEM™ identifies best-in-class advertising and programming that supports
women and girls. The #SeeHer Initiative mission is to accurately portray
all women and girls in media by 2020, the 100th anniversary
of women winning the right to vote. Ads showcasing the #SeeHer movement
can be viewed at

About the ANA and AFE

Association of National Advertisers (ANA)

The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) provides leadership that
advances marketing excellence and shapes the future of the industry.
Founded in 1910, the ANA’s membership includes more than 650 companies
with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in
marketing and advertising. The ANA also includes the Business
Marketing Association
(BMA) and the Brand
Activation Association
(BAA) which operate as divisions of the ANA.
The ANA advances the interests of marketers and promotes and protects
the well-being of the marketing community. For more information, visit,
follow us on Twitter,
or join us on Facebook.

ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE)

Supported by the ANA, the ANA AFE is a coalition of national advertisers
with more than 750 family brands, whose members represent $25-plus
billion of U.S. television ad spend. With members including Athleta,
Campbell’s, CA Technologies, Chick-fil-A, Clorox, Coca-Cola,
Colgate-Palmolive, Corr-Jensen, Crayola, FedEx, Georgia-Pacific,
Hallmark, The Hershey Company, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark,
L’Oréal, Mattel, Moët Hennessy, Nestlé Waters, J.M. Smucker, Post Foods,
Procter & Gamble, Rich Products Corp., SC Johnson, Sensio, State Farm
Insurance, Subway, TiVo, T-Mobile, TracFone, Unilever, Verizon Wireless,
Weight Watchers, Wendy’s, and Walmart, the group’s mission is to find,
nurture, and support high-quality content the entire family can enjoy on
multiple distribution platforms. Since its inception in 1998, the AFE
has utilized its collective member strength to help bring to air more
than 20 prime-time broadcast network television hits, kept innovative
family content in the development pipeline, teamed with YouTube for the
industry’s first family content partnership, and created the Search for
America’s Newest Scriptwriter contest, the nation’s leading competition
for storytellers of tomorrow. In early 2016 the AFE expanded its mission
to include gender equality through such efforts as the #SeeHer
initiative. For more information visit


Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
Patty Kerr,