UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment, launched the Australian chapter of the Unstereotype Alliance on Monday, November 8 as part of a global coalition to tackle harmful stereotypes in advertising and media content.

The alliance is a thought and action platform that unites the influence of the advertising, media, and marketing community as a force for good. It launches with a core group of 21 leading businesses in the advertising and media community with the objective of securing actionable commitments from across the industry. Global champions of the alliance – Unilever, IPG, and Mars – will lead the charge with Westpac and Coles joining as national champions.

COVID-19 has surfaced ingrained inequalities that perpetuate in the Australian advertising landscape, spotlighting ongoing social and economic injustices impacting minority and marginalised groups across the community. The overarching strategic intent of the chapter is to use advertising for good by depicting progressive portrayals of all people, and ensuring diversity is a priority throughout the entire creative process. The initiative will adopt an intersectional approach to address the representation of gender, race, ethnicity and ability in media and advertising content.

The Australian advertising industry plays a fundamental economic role in society, contributing approximately AU$17.3 billion in spend to drive AU$40 billion to the Australian economy and employing over 200,000 people. This alliance seeks to unite the collective impact of this investment together with the impetus of global champions, members, and allies.

Leveraging the reach of the United Nations’ 193 Member States, the Unstereotype Alliance provides a global connectedness for members with a shared commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5 for gender equality. The national chapters drive change at a local level, responding to culturally driven stereotypes, social norms, and attitudes. Australia is the 10th national chapter in addition to Brazil, Japan, India, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, UAE, and UK.

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