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Two thirds of UK feel unrepresented by TV ads

TV advertising  is failing to reflect the UK’s diverse society, according to a poll by Marketing Week.

Research commissioned by the trade magazine found that almost two-thirds of people in the UK feel the ad industry does not represent them, and almost two-fifths say advertising characters and messages fail to reflect British society as a whole.

Religion, gender identity and physical ability were the areas most commonly identified as having seen the least progress on representation over the last decade. while, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation were more likely to be identified as areas where there had been the most progress.

However, age was the area where people felt there was the most need for action to introduce better representation in advertising.

Marketing Week editor Russell Parsons said: “As 2015 closes with the yearly array of big Christmas ad campaigns, we can already see what progress is needed – there are very few examples of true diversity captured in these campaigns with the exception of John Lewis’s ‘Man on the Moon’.

“The storyline of this campaign and the fact it is supported by Age UK is certainly timely given that age was identified in our survey as the key diversity issue for brands to address in their advertising.”

The BBC and Channel 4 came top when respondents were asked which of a list of 20 leading companies were effectively representing a diverse society.

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