P&G and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) have been teamed up for over a year “to drive responsible LGBTQ inclusion across the advertising industry as a force for good,” according to a blog item posted on the GLAAD site last week.
Sarah Kate Ellis, who spoke as part of this year’s P&G Diversity & Inclusion Week events, has served as President and CEO of GLAAD since 2014 and has an extensive background in media. Before joining GLAAD, she worked with Conde Nast, Time Inc., New York Magazine, and the digital branding, PR, and marketing firm Martini Media.
The GLAAD organization itself was founded by media professionals and works today to shape the narrative of print, online, and broadcast media, effectively “Leading the conversation. …Changing the culture….[and accelerating] acceptance for LGBTQ people,” according to the organization’s mission page.
All of which makes GLAAD a smart partner to help P&G be more inclusive in their advertising and media initiatives. In recent months, P&G has produced a Pantene holiday ad with members of the Trans Chorus of LA, another Pantene ad featuring transgender people discussing their hair, and a Gillette ad showing a trans man’s first shave.
And Kelly Vanasse, Chief Communications Officer of P&G’s beauty and grooming business, spoke about the company’s inclusive ads during a session on brand purpose at the recent PCPC annual meeting.
This is the 9th year that P&G has hosted a Diversity & Inclusion Week for its team. It’s a week when “the company recognizes progress and renews its commitment to a workplace where everyone is valued and can bring their full self to work,” according to a P&G Blog post about Mindy Kaling’s participation in a #WeSeeEqual forum that was part of this year’s D&I Week.
While both Alex Keith, CEO of P&G Beauty, and Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at the company, spoke last Thursday, March 5th, with GLAAD CEO Ellis. “Our job,” says Pritchard, who’s quoted in the GLAAD blog, “is to accurately portray all of humanity including those with different sexual orientations and gender identities.”
“Visibility,” he says, “is crucial and we are committed to get this right.” But as Diversity & Inclusion Week suggests, P&G knows that visibility is not-a-one and done proposition.
“Today, P&G and GLAAD took the next step in the strategic partnership by calling other leading brands to similarly prioritize LGBTQ inclusion in authentic and intersectional ways,” notes the GLAAD blog. And in a Tweet posted that same day, Ellis states, “Brands should leverage ads to spotlight diversity, inclusion, and acceptance. I’m standing with @marcpritchard1 and @ProcterGamble to grow the quality and quantity of inclusive ads at a time when LGBTQ visibility has never been more important.”
Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of the news website CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily articles about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.