The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and Futurebrands are partnering to launch a 'deep' and 'immersive' dive into gender depiction in Indian advertising.
Called GenderNext, the study aims to provide actionable insights that can shape the gender narratives in advertising positively.
According to a statement from ASCI, this is the first of several initiatives ASCI will undertake in 2021 as part of a year-long focus on gender.
Subhash Kamath, chairman, ASCI, said, “As a self-regulatory body, ASCI wants advertisers to embrace more responsible advertising. The idea is to not just limit ourselves to being a complaints management body but also to help advertisers navigate through complex issues and contribute to the creation of positive advertising. ASCI will support brands and advertisers to 'get it right' in various ways, and this is one such initiative."
The report is scheduled to release in September 2021. Advertisers, creative voices, policymakers, gender experts will be met for their inputs. Ad clinics will be conducted across 10 centres with consumers for their views and feedback on gender depiction in advertising.
The study will also look to draw an understanding of the cultural shifts in India through Bharat Darshan, a proprietary study done by Futurebrands across more than 200 towns.
ASCI expects GenderNext to be of significant value to advertisers and creative agencies, as well as academia, policymakers and advocacy bodies.
Three major objectives are:
To unravel gender narratives in advertising through a collaborative journey
To evolve and enrich gender understanding in the context of cultural change
To provide insights to navigate and embrace positive narratives for women in advertising content
Manisha Kapoor, secretary general, ASCI, said, “The portrayal of women in advertising has been the subject of much debate. The gender narrative has been evolving and changing but it is not a simple, linear change. GenderNext will help advertisers navigate these narratives, which can sometimes even be seemingly in conflict with each other. The idea is to provoke conversations, and generate actionable insights that advertisers can tap into for progressive, culturally relevant and aspirational gender portrayals. Besides GenderNext, we will also be partnering with like-minded organisations with similar objectives to make a difference to the gender narrative.”
Santosh Desai, MD and CEO, Futurebrands, said, “We are excited to be part of a study that will track the changing gender narrative in advertising and help advertisers with insights to craft their strategies better. The study – a synthesis of primary consumer feedback, opinions of a wide range of stakeholders and commentators, and a wider reading of cultural changes – will build on the extensive cultural tracking work Futurebrands has been engaged in over the past decade.”