New survey gives insights on diversity and inclusion in advertising and the media

credit: Stuff, 28 April 2022

Stuff’s latest NowNext survey has found 86% of New Zealanders aspire to Aotearoa being a diverse, inclusive place where everyone feels they belong – regardless of ethnicity, culture or religion. However, almost three-quarters of respondents have a personal experience of discrimination.

So what role does advertising and the media have to play? 

Stuff commissioned the survey as part of its Pou Tiaki commitment to cultural diversity. 

It challenged those who call New Zealand home to think about their own perspectives on a multicultural Aotearoa and what that looks like for them, gathering responses from more than 6,000 people across the motu. 

Sixty percent said making ads available in many languages is a good idea. Those who think it’s a good idea trend towards a younger (15-44), female demographic.

Fifty-four percent also believe including te reo Māori in advertising is a good idea, and that’s even higher in the main centres of Auckland and Wellington. 

Most agree showing diversity in an advertisement makes a difference – but that depends on how it’s delivered. Twenty-one percent said if they see someone in an ad that represents their gender, ethnicity, age or culture, it makes the ad feel more relevant to them. Thirty-five percent said it didn’t make a difference, and 41 percent said it depended on how that character was portrayed. 

When it comes to news media, 58 percent of respondents said it is good to see more use of te reo Māori in news reporting, while 55 percent said it’s important that reporters and presenters come from a wider range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  

Stuff’s Pou Tiaki Matua Carmen Parahi said “Media representation that reflects multicultural Aotearoa, with its Treaty of Waitangi foundation, is an important factor in promoting an inclusive and vibrant society. The media industry has a critical role to play in making that happen.”

Stuff’s Pou Tiaki strategy is focused on its commitments to te ao Māori and increasing fair representation (which includes equity, diversity and inclusion principles) of all underserved communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

NowNext is a powerful tool to deeply understand how New Zealanders think. Previous surveys have taken the pulse of Kiwis post-pandemic, and measured concerns and action on climate change and sustainability. The latest survey was presented and marketed in both English and te reo Māori and sponsored by FCB Aotearoa. Findings are available here.