Pride Month: Advertising and Social Equality


This Pride Month, parades across the world have been cancelled amidst social distancing measures in response to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. However, it takes more than a pandemic to stop the celebration from happening. While we won’t see streams of rainbows on the streets, people have taken to online to express their pride and solidarity. Additionally, media and advertising can help celebrate diversity in our communities. Indeed, studies have shown that LBGTQ representation in media and advertising leads to greater tolerance and inclusion. A study conducted by Procter and Gamble in partnership with GLAAD found that 80% of non-LGBTQ individuals exposed to LGBTQ representation in the media are more supportive of equal rights.


On the programmatic front, advertising still has some ways to go. Programmatic brand safety tools inadvertently harm LGBTQ publications, thereby having a negative impact on the revenue of these publications. In 2019, it was found that 73% of neutral and positive LGBTQ articles online were incorrectly flagged due to keyword blacklists. Often keyword exclusions flag the content as political or controversial, without taking into account the context of the piece, and therefore considers the articles to be too risky for brands to advertise their creatives on. 


In response, earlier this year Mindshare introduced a new inclusion PMP to address the issue of excluding LGBTQ publications in advertising. Publishers are placed into a negotiated inclusion list, allowing brands to actively support LBGTQ publications and content. Mindshare’s LGBTQ inclusion PMP is the first of a series of their inclusion PMPs that the company is planning on rolling out in 2020 and 2021, designed to deliver greater media budgets to underrepresented and marginalised groups. 


We have seen over Mother’s Day that the advertising industry welds enormous consumer influence, as 81% of consumers look to brands for inspiration when making purchases. The advertising industry is an extremely powerful tool in impacting the way individuals perceive the world around them. However, without careful consideration on how it is structured, it can also exclude already underrepresented groups. The media holds a high responsibility not only in fostering representation and inclusivity in communities, but also in continuing to learn how it can fix where it falls short to ensure equality for all.


Skyy Vodka’s ‘Proudly American’ campaign, featuring drag queen Dusty Ray Bottoms, was the first to launch using Mindshare’s new inclusion PMP. 



Here are some more of our favourite LGBTQ ads from this past year.


Just Eat’s #JustAmore


Douwe Egberts Belgium’s Something to Share


Starbuck’s Every Name’s a Story


Sabra Hummus’s Helmet Hair