NEW YORK: AT&T, the telecoms and entertainment company, is driving progress when it comes to making sure that women are portrayed accurately in advertising.

Christine Cervenka, director/marketing analytics at AT&T’s global marketing organisation, discussed this subject at the CONSUMERxSCIENCE conference held by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF).

And she reported that the Dallas-based enterprise has set the goal of increasing realistic female portrayals in advertising by 20% by the end of this year.

Progress will be tracked, in large part, by the Gender Equality Measure (GEM), a TV testing metric developed by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and that assesses depictions of women and girls in ads and the media.

“We’ve tested about 75 [ads] thus far,” Cervenka said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: AT&T leads the way for gender equality in advertising.)

“What we’ve found is that there is definitely a good relationship between ads that score highly in GEM and then other positive scores in [terms of] brand opinion, consideration [and] recall. And that really gets the attention of the people in advertising.”

The GEM methodology asks four questions – based around whether female portrayals are respectful, appropriate and an overall opinion on this topic, as well as if women are depicted as positive role models – in helping brands determine their performance.

While the ANA formally outlined the target of boosting the number of ads meeting such criteria by a fifth by 2020, AT&T is moving ahead of this pace. “What this does is it really challenges all of us not to use those stereotypes,” said Cervenka.

“And when we’re challenged not to use stereotypes, really we use the best of our minds, and we use the best of our creativity. And, a result, that drives excellence, and that’s what creates the best advertising.”

Sourced from WARC