Originally published by Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

This study examines representations of gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTIQ+, disability, age, and body size in Cannes Lions ads from 2006-2019, with a focus on new findings from 2019. This is the first public report to analyze all of the aforementioned six key identity groups in film-based advertising. An intersectional profile is included for each identity group.

The study found that in 2019 ads male characters outnumber female characters two-to-one, dropping from a high of 40.2% female characters in 2014 ads. Male characters also have twice the screen time and speaking time as female characters. Characters of color are well-represented in ads (38%), a significant improvement since 2006. However, gaps still remain in key areas. For example, white characters are more likely to be shown working than characters of color (20.5% compared with 17.2%). Also, LGBTIQ+ characters are virtually nonexistent—1.8% of characters with a discernible sexual orientation in ads are LGBTIQ+ compared to 10.0% of people globally. Download the study for more detailed findings.

Bibliographic information

Publisher: Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Publication year: 2020

Region: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.