Advertisers are failing in portrayals of Black women ‒ and need to embrace intersectionality

Research by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Cannes Lions found that brands are failing to represent numerous communities, and especially Black women, in adequate ways in their ads.

Why it matters

The marketing industry is coming under heightened scrutiny to address its failings when it comes to the representation of different consumer groups. While brands and agencies have long talked about addressing this issue, now is the time for action.


  • Under-represented groups in society are frequently neglected in the advertising space, too, with damaging effects from a social and commercial perspective alike.
  • Beyond representation, marketers need to address their biases about which activities they ascribe to characters in their ads.
  • People belong to intersectional groups ‒ covering areas like race, gender, age, body type, sexual orientation, disability,...
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