DE&I efforts by Australian media not translating to on-screen targets: Magna

While many Australian media owners have made efforts to improve Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DE&I), for most of the major broadcasters, these efforts have not yet translated to improvements on-screen, according to Mediabrands’ intelligence unit Magna.

While 80% of broadcasters and radio networks consult or partner with advocacy groups to ensure accurate representation, have a DE&I lead and all of them have a DE&I policy, only 20% have benchmarks for diverse talents and 40% publish diversity statistics for casting talent.

The findings were revealed in the Media Responsibility Index that surveyed Magna’s media partners across four priorities: safety, inclusivity, sustainability and data ethics.

These partners include ARN, Foxtel, JCDecaux, Nine Entertainment Co, Network Ten (Paramount), News Corp, Nova,, oOh Media, SBS, SCA,  Seven Val Morgan, and Val Morgan Outdoor.

The report surveyed 91% of the total Australian media market, reaching $6.3 billion of the $7.8 billion SMI expenditure. At the end of 2022, Magna also released a report that predicted Australian digital ad spend to boom in 2023 while linear TV to shrink by 2%.

Regarding sustainability, the report found few local broadcasters delivering the foundational Sustainability elements, whereas their US counterparts are all delivering, at a minimum, ESG Frameworks, net zero commitments and Emissions measurement.

On safety, the report found while there is uniformity in safety standards at relatively high levels among digital platforms, there is room for improvement for data ethics.

Lucy Formosa-Morgan

Lucy Formosa-Morgan, managing director, Magna Australia said: “As brands pursue ESG commitments and consumers become more critical of where brands choose to advertise, advertising environments are increasingly under the microscope.

“The index provides invaluable insight for marketers making decisions re media spend; plus a greater understanding of the Australian media landscape to help our media partners make positive changes within our industry.”

Harrison Boys, director, standards & investment product, Mediabrands APAC said: “The Australian market has shown that there is significant effort and maturity in safety considerations. However, there is a considerable opportunity for partners to accelerate their efforts in inclusivity and sustainability, which are areas that are lagging when compared to global industry best practice.

“Furthermore, with increased government prioritisation of data regulation, partners should be mindful of their data ethics practices.”


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