There is a very, very long history of racism, sexism, and general bad behavior in advertising. And let’s not get into body shaming and what we’ve done to erase anyone over size 2.
Marketers don’t deserve the place they hold in influencing the language and look of entire societies, but we’re so immersed in our newsfeeds that we don’t take time to notice.
We have the power to shape conversation, to create a new version of reality, and to confirm or deny entire aspects of humanity. Through the images we share, words we write, and even the channels we publish to, every decision carries the weight of affirming or ignoring the world around us.
It’s not a small burden to bear.
Of course, marketers will just say they’re reflecting rather than projecting the world around them.
Any marketer not intentionally working on more inclusive and realistically representative work is perpetuating and projecting. Not mirroring. Turn your head away from your screen and look around. The world is a wonderfully weird, diverse place.
I really believe that the first step is acknowledging and understanding the weight of our actions; the next is learning as much as we can so we can consistently do better, be better.