UN Women launches Australian chapter of Unstereotype Alliance

UN Women has launched the Australian chapter of the Unstereotype Alliance, a global coalition that aims to tackle harmful stereotypes in advertising and media content.

The Australian chapter launches with members and allies including Accenture, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, WPP and the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA). Also included is Bayer Australia, Coles, Diageo Australia, Facebook Australia, Google Australia, Ikea, Ipsos Australia Mars Australia, Mastercard Australia, Optus, Salesforce, Snap Inc, Suncorp, Unilever ANZ and Westpac.

The chapter aims to use advertising as a force 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.

Global Champions of the Alliance, Unilever, IPG and Mars, will lead the charge with Westpac and Coles joining as National Champions.

Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and executive director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, said: “The Australia national chapter is the 10th chapter of the Unstereotype Alliance and this launch marks a significant milestone in the journey of the Alliance. I am pleased to see this growing footprint as I firmly believe in the need for on-the ground work to drive impact. I congratulate and welcome all the founding members of the Australia national chapter for taking the bold step of embracing the mission and using advertising as a force for good to eliminate harmful stereotypes in all media and content.”

UN Women Australia CEO Simone Clarke added: “Representation of our community in advertising and media content is critical to creating an equal and open society. One of the best ways to ensure that is to have representation across the advertising, marketing, tech and media industry. This group of leaders is coming together to enact real, meaningful change that will impact Australia for the better.”

UM Australia CEO and representative for IPG Anathea Ruys commented: “At IPG we believe our values must be reflected in our everyday actions, from the teams we build, to the content we put into the world. It is our responsibility to our people, clients, consumers and community to challenge the dangers of stereotyping in advertising and media. We’re excited to expand our partnership with UN Woman on the Unstereotype Alliance as a chapter launches in Australia. In doing so we’re honouring the richness of humanity everywhere.”

According to UN Women, the Australian advertising industry accounts for approximately $17.3 billion in spend and employs over 200,000 people.

Australia is the tenth National Chapter, in addition to Brazil, Japan, India, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, UAE, and UK.

In March this year, UN Women Australia asked “When will she be right?” in a campaign via The Monkeys aimed at highlighting the inequality between the genders.

Earlier this year, AANA, one of the founding members, introduced stricter regulations around the depiction of harmful gender stereotypes, body parts not relevant to products being advertised, and overtly sexual images.


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