Mirror On The Industry
At Channel 4 we’re proud to be one of the UK’s most recognised and authoritative voices on diversity and inclusion. Its in our blood to stand up for diversity and champion unheard voices, so we put that ambition at the heart of everything we do.
Mirror On The Industry is a major insight initiative, exploring how representative and inclusive current television advertisements are. This site currently displays the results of our first project in 2019 and the on-demand session revealing the results of our second wave 2021.
As part of Channel 4's Black To Front Project, we have committed to undertake an annual diversity audit across the TV advertising landscape. This will sit alongside the bi-annual Mirror On the Industry project and aims to track the progress of the advertising industry, in terms of diverse inclusion.
MOTI Part 1
The Mirror on the Industry project formed part of our first Lockdown Learning webinar in late April 2020 - you can watch the full presentation below...
Our first wave of MOTI found...
..representation levels for minority groups in TV advertising are still too low, especially when it comes to lead roles.
..minority groups don’t feel like ads are inclusive – tokenism is still rife and stereotypes are over-used and often damaging.
...it’s seen as our responsibility as an industry to improve and embrace diversity and inclusion – with significant commercial, creative and societal benefits to doing so.
Download the full insight deck to MOTI Part 1
MOTI Part 2
Mirror on the Industry Part 2 explores how much progress the industry has made over the last 2 years when it comes to representation of minority groups in TV ads.
This time we're looking at even more groups including women, older people and people from a lower social grade to explore how extensive representation in ads really is. Are there more lead roles and less tokenism?
- Representation levels for minority groups in TV advertising haven’t significantly improved in the past two years. Levels of representation for minority groups in advertising are still too low and the lack of lead roles points to tokenistic casting.
- The events of 2020 made the public more aware that there is an issue with diverse representation in TV advertising, however these events did not have the expected positive impact on the levels of representation
- Representation and portrayal both need to be considered when making an inclusive ad; as unpacked through our Mirror On The Industry Pt.2 ‘Channel 4’s six key tips’
MOTI Part 3
We are back with Part 3 of Mirror on the Industry. The first of our annual commitment to continue tracking representation of minorities, mis- and underrepresented groups year on year.
This year we have added another key group looking into body diversity, alongside disability, LGBTQI+, ethnic minorities, age, gender, and social grade.
In our third wave we have seen shifts in representation and portrayal of some marginalised and minority groups, whilst others have stayed the same. With the events of 2020 heightening awareness of issues within representation, we have found that consumers are increasingly demanding change, and as an industry we need to respond.
There have been no major changes in the levels of representation of disabled people and LGBTQI+ persons in advertisement. Whilst there has been an encouraging shift of how disabled people are being portrayed, a lack of intersectionality reveals that LGBTQI+ characters are often stereotyped. Stereotyping was also a prominent outtake when looking at gender, age, social grade, and body diversity.
At a glance it would appear ethnic minority representation has shifted, but this was primarily led by Black people, who now play lead roles on twice as many TV adverts compared to our last audit. However, lead roles for Asian and other ethnic minority groups have not seen any upward trend. Representation of ethnic minorities is there, but the portrayal still needs work.
Consideration of representation and portrayal are essential when making inclusive ads, we have found those that do, result in increased sentiment towards the brand and in turn open the doors to diverse markets.Download the full insight deck to MOTI Part 3
Find Out More
For more information about the project, or to request one of our team to come and present it to your business, please get in touch!
Research Executive, Channel 4
Senior Research Executive, Channel 4