ACA releases a new guide for improved creative diversity and representation

The Association of Canadian Advertisers has released a new guide to help improve diversity and representation across its members’ campaigns.

“Diversity & Representation: Guide to potential areas for bias in the creative process” was adapted from a guide created by the World Federation of Advertisers earlier this year, and is available for free on the ACA website.

The Guide maps out 12 stages of the creative process, from defining the business and brand challenge, through to campaign evaluation and analysis. Each stage includes questions to consider, along with additional resources.

With the business and brand challenge, for example, the questions are largely about audience assumptions, such as, “Who do you instinctively define as your audience and how representative is it really?”

For stage four, Agency and Partner Selection, the guide states: “Have you asked partners for evidence of representation across their overall output?” and “Could a minority owned, or focused, partner augment the work of your AOR?”

The Guide includes a forward written by Joel Scales, senior vice-president of global marketing and strategy at Jamieson Wellness, who is also a member of the ACA’s DE&I committee, which was created in 2020.

According to Scales, in order to fully support DE&I efforts, marketers must look at the partners they work with, ask questions, and take meaningful action.

“A very interesting thing happens when we do this,” he wrote “We, as marketers, get smarter and gain a better understanding of how our work really affects those around us. [A]nd more importantly, we show everyone that we’re here to listen, understand and make the necessary changes to be more diverse and inclusive in everything we do.”

David Brown