NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WPP (NYSE: WPP) has partnered with To see herthe leading global movement to accurately represent women in marketing, advertising, media and entertainment, to unveil “Health on Its Terms (HOHT).” Released today, the new research study reveals critical gaps and opportunities focused on women and people who identify as women in the areas of reproductive care, weight diversity and mental health.
Women drive more than 80% of healthcare spending decisions in the United States and make up 65% of the healthcare workforce. Yet despite all the progress made in gender equality over the years, there are serious disparities and problems in how women’s health is portrayed in the media, and women and other marginalized genders are not not presented as a primary audience in health marketing. Women say they are likely to be loyal to brands that tackle entrenched and pervasive taboos in the media and speak to them in an authentic and dignified way.
Lindsay Pattison, Chief Client Officer of WPP, said: “Advertisers tend to flatten femininity and our health needs into a demographic box. But women’s health is far more dynamic and nuanced than how it is currently portrayed in the media. Our industry has a responsibility to transform the way women are portrayed and provide more multifaceted representation and prioritize showing women’s mental health more authentically, their weight more realistically, and their reproductive health more realistically. more inclusive.
Cassandra Sinclair, President, Gray Health and Wellness, said: “This groundbreaking study shows that as health and wellness marketers, we need to do a better job of listening to women’s needs and connecting with them on their own terms and needs. health matter. Women want brands to be vulnerable, brave and real. They want brands to understand that their health is personal and connecting with them should be more inclusive of the realities of their lives.
Rachel Lowenstein, Global Head of Inclusive Innovation, Mindshare, said: “The state of women’s health and bodily autonomy, including health care for trans and non-binary communities, is in a precarious situation. Media and communications play an important role in pervasive taboos on topics such as reproductive care, mental health, etc. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Brands have the opportunity to influence change and give women and marginalized genders the more nuanced, diverse and honest representation they deserve. By doing so, they can retain that audience while driving positive change in the world around us.
Christine Guilfoyle, Executive Vice President of SeeHer, Association of National Advertisers, said: “We are very proud to partner with WPP for this important study. The insight clearly demonstrates that consumers want content that reflects women in their multiplicity, with diverse needs and experiences, rather than monolithic storytelling. When it comes to representations of women’s health and well-being, there is a lot of work to be done. With this study, we’re launching a new vertical, SeeHer Health, to accurately represent women’s health and wellness issues in marketing, media and entertainment.
Agencies WPP Gray and Mindshare have partnered to uncover and analyze common themes about the reality of women’s health in today’s environment, how women’s health is portrayed in the media today, and how brands can shift their efforts to better represent and transform support for its healthcare needs. Key themes that emerged include:
- Dynamism of femininity: The media positions women’s health experiences in unique ways. The way brands currently connect with women is at odds with the way women identify themselves. A total of 44% of BIWOCs want to see more diverse representations of race/ethnicity in health communications, as the media places a heavy emphasis on femininity as young, white, cishet, and non-disabled .
- End of exceptionalism: Research has found that women are rarely marketed as they are, with brands instead prioritizing women doing extraordinary things. Marketing efforts must expand to focus on a larger and more diverse segment of women and reduce the focus on this exceptional phenomenon to drive inclusion.
- Go beyond women seen only as caregivers: Women are still viewed primarily in the context of their ability to care for others and have expressed the need to be seen for themselves. His self-esteem should be seen as more than caring for others.
WPP and SeeHer also established “The Marketer’s Hippocratic Oath to Women,” based on one of the oldest binding oaths in history, still held sacred by doctors today. Supporting each of the three themes, the “Marketer’s Hippocratic Oath to Women” states “not just to do no harm, but to drive real change” and create better outcomes for women themselves, as well as for their businesses.
WPP and SeeHer have continued this research to encourage brands and organizations to break down historical barriers and invest more in thinking, ideas and resources to ensure women’s true perspectives and needs are properly translated into strategies to improve women’s health outcomes. For marketers interested in learning more about takeaways and next steps for brands, please visit this link for more information.
To research Methodology:
The team designed and conducted a custom online survey of 1,545 women and non-binary people ages 18 and older across the United States, leveraging the Audience Origin platform operated by Kantar Profiles Health. Audiences included race, gender, sexuality, income, age, and disabilities.
WPP is the creative transformation company. We use the power of creativity to build a better future for our people, our planet, our customers and our communities. For more information, visit www.wpp.com.
To see her is the leading global movement of media, marketing and entertainment leaders committed to the accurate portrayal of women and girls in advertising and media. Although progress has been made in recent years to authentically portray women and girls, unconscious bias persists in advertising and entertainment. The average age, race and body type, among other characteristics, of women portrayed in the media still represent only a small fraction of the female population. The SeeHer movement was launched in 2016 by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in partnership with The Female Quotient (The FQ). research methodology that quantifies gender bias in advertising and programming. GEM® shows that content accurately describing women significantly increases both purchase intent and brand reputation. Upon completion, the GEM® methodology quickly became the industry standard, winning the prestigious ESOMAR Research Effectiveness Award in 2017 and leading to its global rollout in 2018. Since 2019, the movement has expanded its verticals to include sports (SeeHer In Sports) and music. (See hear it).
To learn more, visit SeeHer.com and follow SeeHer on social media @SeeHer (Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn) and @SeeHerOfficial (TikTok and Twitter).
 Source: Oliver Wyman, “Women in Healthcare Leadership 2019”