• The Association of Canadian Advertisers to spearhead initiative in Canada, in partnership with the Association des agences de communication créative, Advertising Standards Canada, Canadian Media Directors Council, Grenier aux nouvelles, IAB Canada, the Institute of Communication Agencies, and media partner, strategy.
  • First-ever global survey aims to provide a benchmark to measure progress on DEI

June 14, 2021: The world’s first-ever global survey on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the marketing and advertising industry will kick off June 21. Overseen by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) globally, the Association of Canadian Advertisers will lead the initiative in Canada.

The survey will investigate workforce composition across the industry as well as people’s perception of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including their sense of belonging and their perception of progress.

“While diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives are underway here in Canada, with initiatives such as the IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity & Equity in Advertising) competition, this global survey will allow us to both set industry benchmarks on the state of DEI in Canada and will allow us to measure against efforts in other markets, said President & CEO of ACA, Ron Lund. “Importantly, this survey will reveal insights that will inform industry’s future plans for DEI and keep us accountable as an industry, both nationally and globally.”

The ACA is joined by several partners to drive awareness and participation in the survey, including the Association of Creative Communications Agencies (A2C), Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), Canadian Media Directors Council (CMDC), Grenier aux nouvelles, the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB Canada), the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA), and media partner, strategy. Both globally and locally, the ambition is to generate the largest and most representative sample possible.

Globally, 22 national advertiser associations and their agency association counterparts have confirmed participation in the survey. In addition to Canada, the countries and territories set to participate include Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, Greece, the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE), Hong Kong, China, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the USA.

“This is a historic moment for our industry,” said Stephan Loerke, WFA CEO. “For all the talk of ‘we are in this together’, the pandemic has shown this to be simply untrue. Inequalities have been exacerbated by recent hardships. Anecdotal evidence suggests the industry is going backwards on diversity and inclusion. It is imperative we get a first-ever industry baseline so that we can draw a line in the sand and move forward together in improving the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry.”

The questionnaire will be live between June 21 and July 2. The results will be compiled and analysed by Kantar and the key global findings will be published by Campaign’s global network of editions later in the year and presented at leading industry events in October 2021. The Canada-specific findings will be published by strategy.

The initiative’s aim is to establish a tangible baseline for the global industry, which will help inform an action plan for improvement. The WFA intends to enlist its partners to measure progress with a second survey in 18 months’ time.

Relatedly, the ACA formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee last year. Committee members are working on initiatives here in Canada to provide the marketing community with tangible tools to educate, cultivate and advance diversity, equity and inclusion in Canada.

The results of the survey will be used as the basis for an action plan devised and led by WFA’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and will also inform the ACA DEI Committee’s initiatives.