The 'face of advertising' revealed as a young white man

The average face of attendees at Advertising Week Europe this year is that of a young, white man, it has been revealed.

The 'face of advertising' revealed as a young white man

MEC UK created the average face by merging photos of delegates that attended Advertising Week Europe on the first day.

It is a visual representation of the lack of diversity in the industry.

As part of a diversity drive at the event, MEC UK also asked delegates to take Harvard University’s Implicit Associate Tests, which highlighted unconscious bias in the industry.  

Here, Jason Dormieux, the chief executive of MEC UK, discusses the finding:

"Predictably, the Face of Advertising is a white twentysomething male. This clearly demonstrates the scale of the task ahead if the industry is to hit Campaign and the IPA’s 2020 targets of 15% of people in leadership positions from a non-white background and 25% per cent of new joiners from BAME backgrounds.

"And it’s not just gender and ethnicity that’s an issue, our recent research on ageism in media revealed we are losing people over the age of fifty at a time when the population is living to a much greater age."

Of the Harvard tests, Dormieux said: "As more of us take the tests and become aware of our biases we can start to recognise where we as individuals can make changes. For example, when we are recruiting, questioning why we think a candidate is good. Is it because of their ability, or because they think like us?

"Even though as an industry we are behind many others when it comes to diversity, equally we know that bringing together more diverse teams results in better work, even if it makes life harder initially, because people from different backgrounds tend not to automatically agree with one another.

"While we can put processes and structure in place to help steer people in the right direction to be more inclusive, ultimately you can’t eradicate in built prejudices because it’s part of who we are. The key is to make people conscious of their biases and take responsibility for keeping a check on them."

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