WFA launches guide to diversity and representation in media planning and buying

WFA has launched a guide to tackling diversity and representation issues in the media planning and buying process, covering issues ranging from inclusive audience planning to measuring success.

Developed by the WFA Diversity Task Force with the support of GARM – the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, Diversity & Representation: Focus on Media Planning and Buying highlights four key areas where bias can occur and proposes questions and approaches that can be used to ensure progress. It also pulls together key resources that can be used to tackle any gaps or areas of concern.

The four areas are:

  1. Inclusive audience planning: ensuring audiences are diverse and inclusive at the planning stage;
  2. Supporting diverse voices: making deliberate decisions on media spend and building partnerships with unique media owners;
  3. Balancing brand safety with diversity: consciously managing brand suitability and safety alongside inclusion; and
  4. Measuring success: measuring all audiences fairly and investing in research.

Every area of media planning and buying is also illustrated with brand examples and the guide includes campaigns and resources from WFA and GARM members such as Bayer, Diageo, GSK, Reckitt, Ebiquity, Google, Meta, Twitter.

The new document has been developed as a media-focused extension to WFA’s Guide to potential areas for bias in the creative process (2021), which works through the full process. It will be freely available to everyone in the industry as part of WFA’s ongoing commitment to boosting diversity and inclusion and improving representation globally. The guide can be downloaded from WFA’s Diversity & Inclusion Hub.

WFA Diversity Ambassador, Jerry Daykin, and Diageo Global Media Director and WFA Media Forum co-chair, Isabel Massey, who led this initiative, said media was a critical element to consider when marketers tackle diversity gaps. 

“We tend to think of diversity as a challenge for our creative or HR teams, but media also plays a critical role. The way a campaign is planned and bought can have a notable impact on reach & engagement across different audience groups. Making the right decisions can both ensure brands create more effective campaigns and, critically, play their part in funding a richer and more diverse media ecosystem. There is a delicate balance between ensuring we block hate speech but increase the funding of positive representative voices, and whilst the solutions can get technical, they all start with advertisers asking some of these simple questions in their brief,said Jerry Daykin.

“It is our responsibility to not only create content that is reflective of today’s society, but for it to appear in media that is diverse and inclusive too. I am really proud that Diageo has committed to a multi-million-pound global investment over the next two years to media platforms and publishers who are working to make mainstream media more diverse and inclusive, and this guide from the WFA is a great point of reference for all advertisers. There’s still so much more progress to make and we need to work together with other brands, media owners, and agencies to drive industry -wide change,” said Isabel Massey.

“WFA is leading the way in providing guidance for the industry and helping to ensure that all brands have the tools they need to avoid bias in their processes and ways of working. I’m delighted that two key initiatives within the WFA – our Diversity Task Force and GARM – have worked so closely together to produce this guide on the importance of managing media with a sharp eye for potential bias,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of WFA.

“We applaud the latest WFA guidance on responsible media identifying key questions to consider throughout the media planning, buying and measurement process to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion – especially addressing brand safety and keyword exclusion lists. This is consistent with training from the 4A’s on Campaign Enlightenment addressing biases in the work,” said Marla Kaplowitz, President & CEO, 4A’s.

To download the guide please click here.

Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.