Ahead of October’s Festival of Marketing, a panel discussion at the event will address recent research that shows how brands and advertising should be leading the way for the media to reflect the society in which live.

New rules around gender stereotyping are to be rolled out after a report by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found that advertising has a profound impact on people’s expectations of how others ‘look or behave’ according to their gender.

The furore around Protein World’s ‘Beach Body Ready’ ad in 2015, which led to a staggering 378 complaints for being ‘socially irresponsible’, shone a light on the topic and led the ASA to conclude it needed to take a ‘strong evidence-based position’ when it comes to the portrayal of gender in ads.

Gender inequality is a big issue in society, and the pressures on women, and the roles they fulfil will be explored at The Festival of Marketing as part of a panel session, featuring Mumsnet, Bauer Media and The Telegraph.

It was found that women only feature in 33% of advertising according to Lloyds Banking Group’s Reflecting Modern Britain report. The study covered 40 brands and 1,340 TV and press adverts and found that women are rarely displayed in positions of power, and there is also no representation of people with non-binary gender identities.

It is vitally important that further plans to look at other gender stereotypes, specifically how it intersects with race and the LGBT+ community are carried out. As the world’s first LGBT+ organisation for people working in the advertising industry, PrideAM are determined to remove LGBT+ prejudice from the workplace and promote positive role models.

PrideAM will be joined by Diageo in a panel discussion at the Festival of Marketing to discuss the changing attitudes of consumers towards sexual and gender identity. In addition, the results of exclusive research about which brands are leading the sexual revolution, and those are who lagging behind, will be revealed at Festival.

Naturally, attitudes will not change overnight and will develop alongside society, but it is encouraging to see that it is a live topic that refuses to go away. With 65% of people stating they would feel more favourable about a brand that promotes diversity, companies are missing a huge opportunity to connect with customers.

Don’t miss Mark Evans, Marketing Director of Direct Line Group discussing diversity and wellness at the Festival of Marketing. In addition, multi-award winning broadcaster and co-founder of The Pool, Lauren Laverne, will be hosting a panel about life hacks for busy women. The Festival of Marketing will take place on 4-5 October, Tobacco Dock, London.