NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SeeHer, the ANA movement that has become the most influential voice for gender equality in advertising, marketing, and media in the U.S., is launching #WriteHerRight™ to support storytellers’ efforts to integrate more authentic depictions of women into their work and showcase TV writers who have developed strong female characters. The new effort was announced today by Stephen Quinn, chair, ANA SeeHer, former CMO at Walmart and PepsiCo.
#WriteHerRight™ was created to facilitate conversation about gender equality with showrunners, actors, and network executives by bringing effective, story-building language and tools into the writers’ rooms. It is the latest manifestation of an expanding and deepening partnership between SeeHer, content creators, and media partners to bring the accurate portrayal of women and girls to ad-supported content across all platforms.
“The average age, race, and body type of the women depicted in content today represent just a small fraction of the female population. That means most women and girls have likely never seen themselves reflected in the media,” said Dr. Knatokie Ford, SeeHer advisor on STEM & Entertainment Engagement. “However, the conversation should not end with citing injustices and inequality. It’s also imperative that we illuminate pathways and resources to enable change as well as do more to celebrate individuals who are already creatively disrupting stereotypes that perpetuate biases against women and girls.”
As part of the #WriteHerRight™ outreach, SeeHer has produced a tip sheet for storytellers, which provides quick stats on media representation and a list of ten questions designed to raise awareness and mitigate unconscious bias in media portrayals of female characters. Timed to arrive as writing begins on new programming for the upcoming season, the one-page resource for storytellers emerged from insights collected during a recent SeeHer event with a group of television writers.
The tip sheet is being shared with leading showrunners as well as SeeHer’s network partners for wide distribution. Additionally, an interactive #WriteHerRight™ blog will debut on SeeHer.com in the coming months that is designed to serve as a forum for writers to share tips on how to write women and girls accurately.
“The SeeHer movement was launched to address unconscious bias in the portrayal of women and girls in programming and advertising,” added Gail Tifford, SeeHer co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Weight Watchers. “At Weight Watchers, we aim to inspire healthy habits for real life, which means representing people and life authentically, reflecting the diversity of the community we serve. We believe content creators and brands are all storytellers and that the tools provided by SeeHer can move us from being aware of biases to actively making changes to be more inclusive.”
Unbiased storytelling is an incredible business opportunity for content creators. Research consistently proves that shows that reflect the reality of our lives drive viewer engagement and ratings. (ANA research also shows that bias-free ads increase ROI by 30 percent.) Conversely, the data finds that viewers firmly reject programming they feel is inauthentic or biased. Ninety percent of parents say their number one concern regarding TV shows is the lack of role models for their daughters.
ANA launched the SeeHer movement in 2016 in partnership with The Female Quotient to encourage accurate portrayals of women and girls in advertising and media with the goal of a 20 percent increase by 2020—the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. The collective unites more than 70 of the nation’s top marketers, including AT&T, Procter & Gamble, CVS, Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Georgia-Pacific, Ford, General Motors, Verizon, PepsiCo, L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Walmart, and Weight Watchers. It is the first time that U.S. advertisers have joined together in a unified effort to address this critical challenge and press for positive change.
“We are not looking to control creativity or solicit story ideas,” concluded Quinn. “We believe that by inviting storytellers to join our movement, we are that much closer to the day when all the images that women and girls see in the media not only mirror the real world but reflect a society they want to live in—and that is good business.”
Despite the strides made to accurately portray women and girls in media, an unconscious bias persists against women and girls in advertising, media, and programming. The Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE) launched the SeeHer initiative in June 2016 in a partnership with The Female Quotient (TFQ) at the United State of Women. SeeHer’s mission is to increase the accurate portrayals of women and girls in media 20 percent by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in the U.S. For more information, visit www.SeeHer.com, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
About the Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) makes a difference for individuals, brands, and the industry by driving growth, advancing the interests of marketers, and promoting and protecting the well-being of the marketing community. Founded in 1910, the ANA provides leadership that advances marketing excellence and shapes the future of the industry. The ANA’s membership includes more than 1,000 companies with 15,000 brands that collectively spend or support more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually. The membership is comprised of more than 750 client-side marketers and 300 associate members, which includes leading agencies, law firms, suppliers, consultants, and vendors. Further enriching the ecosystem is the work of the nonprofit ANA Advertising Educational Foundation (AEF), which has the mission of enhancing the understanding of advertising and marketing within the academic and marketing communities. For more information, visit www.ana.net, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or join us on Facebook.
For more information visit www.SeeHer.com