Diageo Tackles Gender Balance in Advertising

Last year I celebrated Diageo’s campaign to turn Johnnie Walker (my favorite scotch brand) into Jane Walker. The extent of the campaign reached far beyond flipping the logo (which, by itself would have fallen into the “cheap trick” category of IWD campaign history.) Read more about the real actions taken, notably the company’s exceedingly proper ratio of women working both in the business and through the distilleries.

This year, for IWD2019, Diageo released a spot calling for gender balance in advertising.

“It’s better for society, it’s better for business, and we’ll create the future we want to see.” - CMO Syl Saller


Great message, backed by real action:

The film is released as 50 women take part in the Creative Equals ‘Returners’ scheme called #CreativeComeback. The scheme, backed by the UK Government Equalities Office is designed to support women in the creative industries in the UK as they return to work after a career break of at least 12 months. The ultimate aim is to place female art directors, producers, copywriters, data analysts, designers and concept creators back into work.

Diageo is a sponsor of the scheme and the group of returners will work on briefs for two of Diageo’s iconic global brands – Baileys and Guinness. 

And further:

Diageo has been working to increase inclusion and diversity in marketing – both in terms of progressive gender portrayal in advertising and by supporting initiatives that contribute to gender balance in the industry itself. This includes being a member of the UN UNstereotype Alliance and a signatory of Free the Bid to help to increase the number of female directors on adverts. Diageo has also reviewed its creative work globally to see where it needs to improve on progressive gender portrayal and is training it’s 1200 marketers and agencies globally in a comprehensive framework covering Representation, Agency, Perspective and Characterization of gender in advertising.

In January 2019 Diageo was recognised in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index. In 2018 Diageo was named by Thomson Reuters as the 4th most inclusive and diverse company in the world and ranked by Equileap as the best company in the UK for gender equality.

Learn more at Diageo.com.

Katie Martell