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Canada is an ethnically diverse country with a melting-pot of cultures from all over the world; it is reported that 22% of Canadians are visible minority (>50% in Toronto and Vancouver), 6% reported Indigenous ancestry, 4% identify as LGBTQ2+, and 22% has a disability.

Recognizing that Canada’s marketing and advertising industry doesn’t always mirror our diversity, and that we are uniquely placed to support, if not lead societal justice efforts through our work, the ACA formed a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) committee.

The committee’s mandate is simple: support, educate, and empower member companies – and the industry at large – by delivering diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, to affect lasting impact and measurable, positive change.

Importantly, the outcomes of these efforts will lead to an advertising industry that accurately portrays and represents our diverse populations, not only with the faces in front of the camera, but also with the multitude of people behind the scenes who contribute to the creative output.

That’s why, in the summer of 2020, the ACA revised its mission statement to reflect the importance of DEI initiatives and other social causes.

ACA Mission: As marketers’ only independent voice, we fight for members’ interests and positive social change to maximize ROI.


In addition, the ACA also formed a DEI Committee, made up of senior leaders from both member and non-member companies. The committee is chaired by Esther Benzie, Vice President, CIBC, and includes nine additional members from the following national advertisers:

  • Jamieson Laboratories Ltd.
  • L’Oréal
  • Loblaw Companies Ltd.
  • Metrolinx
  • Molson Coors Canada
  • P&G
  • TD Bank Group
  • Toyota Canada
  • Unilever

The committee’s primary objective is to provide the marketing community with tangible tools to educate, cultivate and advance diversity, equity and inclusion in Canada. The path to deliver on the Committee’s objective is three-fold:

  • Curate best-in-class toolkits to guide the marketing community
  • Build opportunities to diversify talent across the marketing supply chain
  • Provide access for marketers to connect with local organizations to help drive change

In the summer of 2021 the ACA also spearheaded a national survey, as part of the first-ever global survey on DEI in the marketing industry.

The results of The DEI Census: Canada Report are now available and will help guide initiatives of the ACA’s DEI Committee. The report’s wide release to the Canadian marketing community is also intended to support similar initiatives at other associations and organizations.

Partnering with us on this initiative are the Association of Creative Communications Agencies (A2C), Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), the Canadian Media Directors Council (CMDC), Grenier aux nouvelles, the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA), the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB Canada), Pride Advertising & Marketing (Pride AM), the Multicultural Marketing Alliance of Canada (MMAC), strategy, and thinktv.

The global lead on the survey, the World Federation of Advertisers, intends to run it again in Q1 of 2023, in order to measure progress.



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