Clearcast publishes figures on BAME representation in commercials

Clearcast data released reveals the portrayal of people from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic Groups within television commercials.

As of December 2009, agencies have had the option of stating whether the actors within their advertisements are from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic groups, through the addition of two tick boxes on the Clearcast submission form; ‘Ethnic (BAME) featured artist?’ and ‘Ethnic (BAME) walk-on artist?’

The additional boxes were introduced following discussions between the IPA and Clearcast about tracking the portrayal of people from ethnic diversities in advertising.

Key findings from the submitted data include:

• Of the 34,499 commercials cleared by Clearcast, 1,845 (5.3%) contain BAME actors, according to the data supplied by agencies when they upload the commercials*.

• 1,667 of those 1,845 commercials (4.8%) have featured BAME actors.

• 715 of those 1,845 commercials (2.1%) have walk-on BAME actors.

• Significant product categories indexing greater than 100 for BAME actors are: household equipment, online retail, property, entertainment and pharmaceutical.

• Government indexes strongly overall, however, it actually under-represents featured BAME actors but indexes highly on BAME walk-on actors, giving it a high overall index.

• The worst indexing categories of scale, indexing <60, are food, motoring, mail order, retail, travel and transport, telecoms, household stores, clothing and household appliances.

• According to the data no BAME actors at all appeared in gardening or household appliance ads, although these are small categories.

*This data is reliant on agencies completing the checkboxes when they submit the ads, however, Clearcast cannot rely on the fields being completed in every case. Says Chris Mundy, Managing Director, Clearcast: “”

Says Saad Saraf, Chairman of the IPA’s Ethnic Diversity Group and CEO,
Mediareach: “All of my experience marketing to diverse audiences over 23 years has shown that people react better to advertising when they see themselves reflected in it. So what these figures reveal, rather disappointingly, is that commercials are drastically under-representing the real make-up of the UK, of which BAMEs comprising 13% of the population (ONS Mar 2010). Advertisers are therefore missing out on an important and rapidly growing revenue stream and I'd advise them to take a better look at who their customers are and am sure that representation figures will improve markedly over the coming years”.

Saad Saraf
CEO
Mediareach Advertising
http://www.mediareach.co.uk

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