I'll be doing another annual round up of LGBT+ representation in advertising soon. Spoiler alert: I think the quality of LGBT+ representation during 2017 is on the up and up - at least in the UK. In places like Australia, the advertising has been pretty grim and shameful during the run up to their plebiscite.
We're also due to see changes to the UK Advertising Codes being announced in the next month or two, which will reflect the ASA's active intervention in relation to gender stereotyping. I'm very hopeful that these updated rules won't fall into the trap of treating this as a binary issue, and that they won't leave LGBT+ representation out in the cold.
Even more importantly, I look forward to advertisers taking a lead on these issues, rather than waiting for the ASA to name and shame them to force them in the right direction.
2016 saw some great progress for LGBT+ representation in advertising, as more brands got on board with promoting a message of equality, diversity and inclusion. However, there were also some clear signs that we still have some way to go as a society. Yes, ‘Disgruntled of Tunbridge Wells’ is still going to take up his or her quill to complain about ads which they consider to be ‘offensive’ for depicting sexy dancing or same-sex couples, but the vast majority of us have moved on. And so has the ASA - they dismissed the complaints against all of the top ten most complained about ads [in 2016].