50+ Statistics About LGBTQ+ Representation in Advertising

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

In a recent blog post, A Corporate Guide to Pride— Companies Who’ve Gotten it Right (And Wrong), we briefly touched on the importance of LGBTQ+ representation in advertising. 

In that article, we state the following, “A critical step toward a more inclusive work environment and equal rights for LGBTQ+ employees is simple— and it comes in the form of representation.

“Although more advertising campaigns feature members of the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month, the numbers are still shockingly low. In fact, of all advertisements run globally in 2016, only 47 of those advertisements featured lesbian, gay, or transgender people. That’s less than 1% (source).”

Today, we dig a little deeper to illustrate the current state of LGBTQ+ representation in advertising with this list of more than 50 shocking statistics. Let’s get into it!

LGBTQ+ Buying Power:

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

The total buying power of the adult U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer population is projected to be $917 billion (source).

The Consumer Perspective on LGBTQ+ Representation in Advertising:

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

PrideAM research shows that 60% of the general population believe it is important that people of different genders are accurately portrayed in advertising. Even more — 66% — feel the same of sexual orientation (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

79% of LGBT respondents say that they enjoy funny LGBT-themed ads, according to Google’s research. Such ads are more likely to be shared too, with 75% of LGBT respondents saying they are more likely to share funny LGBT-friendly advertisements with their social circles (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

69% of LGBT respondents say that they enjoy inspirational LGBT-themed advertising (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

Nearly two-thirds of YouTube viewers surveyed who self-identified as LGBT said they are more likely to buy from a brand that takes a stand on LGBT issues (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

LGBT-friendly ads aren’t just resonating with LGBT viewers; women of all sexual orientations on YouTube prefer LGBT-friendly ads. Nearly 60% of millennial women on YouTube say they are more likely to remember a brand that’s LGBT-friendly. Women are also more likely to engage with a brand that’s LGBT-friendly in their ads (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

66% of respondents viewed brands that used LGBTQ-themed ads as “progressive,” relative to 56% of those brands with generic-themed ads (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

When asked if a brand was perceived to be “inclusive,” 65% of respondents who viewed the LGBTQ-themed ads agreed. Fifty-five percent of respondents who viewed generic-themed ads said the same (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

61% of respondents who viewed the LGBTQ-themed ads perceived the brand as “caring,” while 52% of those who viewed the generic-themed ads also viewed the brand as caring (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

41% of those surveyed in the LGBTQ+ community stated that advertisements in LGBTQ+ print and media had a greater impact than advertisements in non-LGBTQ+ print and media (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

When reading LGBTQ news stories, 42% of the LGBTQ community report that they trust LGBTQ sources more than they trust reporting in the general media (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

85% of surveyed LGBTQ community members agreed with the following statement: “Corporations that support the LGBTQ community are more important than ever.” (source)

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

78% of surveyed LGBTQ community members agreed that they tend to support companies that support and market to the LGBTQ community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

76% of surveyed LGBTQ community members say businesses that support and market to the LGBTQ community will get more of their business in the upcoming year (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

75% of surveyed LGBTQ community members say they feel more positive about businesses that include transgender and gender-expansive imagery in their outreach communications (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

74% of the LGBTQ respondents say they are more likely to support businesses that support and market to members of the transgender and gender-expansive community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

90% of lesbian participants say they feel more positive towards companies that include lesbian community imagery in their outreach communications (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

90% of lesbian participants say they would be more likely to support and purchase from companies that market to and support the lesbian community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

66% of bisexual respondents say they feel more positive towards companies that include bisexual community imagery in their outreach communications (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

70% of bisexual respondents say they would be more likely to support and purchase from companies that market to and support the bisexual community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

79% of those surveyed say they would be more likely to support and purchase from companies that market to and support the LGBTQ Black/African American community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

74% of those surveyed say they would be more likely to support and purchase from companies that market to and support the LGBTQ Asian community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

86% of LGBTQ respondents say they boycott brands that take anti-LGBTQ political or social stands (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

71% of LGBTQ respondents say they have asked friends and family not to buy a product because the company who makes it is not LGBTQ-friendly (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

79% of LGBTQ respondents say they’ll pay a little more for a product from an LGBTQ-friendly company vs. their competitor (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

54% of LGBTQ respondents say they have asked friends and family to buy a product because the company is LGBTQ-friendly (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

76% of LGBTQ respondents say the brands they tend to buy from are openly supportive of the LGBTQ community (source).

The Current State of LGBTQ+ Representation in Advertising

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

Statistically, the straight-gendered roles of current ads do not mirror the diverse society in which we live. A 2015 YouGov poll revealed that, in the UK, now 49% of 18-24 year don’t class themselves as 100% straight and that 53% of over 60s agree that sexuality is on a scale (source). 

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

In May 2017, 61 percent of responding LGBT consumers from the US believed their lifestyle was not sufficiently represented in advertising, as compared to 51 percent of general public respondents who said the same (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

Research by Lloyds Banking Group published in 2016 showed that just 19% of people featured in advertising are from minority groups, and of those, only 0.06% are from the LGBT community despite this group making up 1.7% of the British population (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

79% of people said they believe gay women are under-represented in advertising. This comes ahead of the number of people that believe bisexual people are under-represented (56%), gay men (49%) and disabled people (44%)(source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

One survey found that out of all participants, gay women felt the least accurately portrayed out of any group, with just 21% believing advertising reflects their lives (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

Annual viewership of LGBT content on YouTube grew 76% in 2016 and is expected to reach nearly 5B views in 2017 (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

Nearly eight in 10 self-identified LGBT viewers said that brands are doing a better job today than five years ago at representing LGBT people in their ads (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

That said, there’s still room for improvement: Four in 10 still feel brands aren’t fairly representing LGBT people in their ads (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

60% of self-identified LGBT respondents see positive change for their community on YouTube in a way they don’t in traditional media (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

Shares of videos by LGBT creators have tripled over the past two years globally (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

64% of surveyed LGBTQ community members say businesses don’t do a good job of reaching out to the transgender and gender-expansive community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

58% of LGBTQ respondents say corporations don’t do a good job of reaching out to members of the lesbian community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

69% of respondents from the bisexual community say corporations don’t do a good job of reaching out to the bisexual community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

77% of those surveyed say corporate America does not do a good job of reaching out to the LGBTQ African American/ Black community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

55% of those surveyed say corporate America does not do a good job of reaching out to the LGBTQ Latino/Hispanic community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

80% of those surveyed say corporate American does not do a good job or reaching out to the LGBTQ Asian community (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

79% of those surveyed say they would be more likely to support and purchase from companies that market to and support the Latino/Hispanic community (source).

The Negative Impact of Inadequate LGBT Representation

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

Stonewall recently released figures showing 8 in 10 trans students have been bullied and self-harmed, with almost half attempting suicide. Many cite a feeling of “confusion” or “out of placeness” with the world around them (source).

The Positive Impact of LGBT Representation in Advertising

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

On average, 62% of those exposed to LGBTQ-themed ads correctly recalled the brands advertised, whereas only 58% of those exposed to generic-themed ads could do so (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

Over 45% of all consumers under the age of 34 say they’re more likely to do repeat business with an LGBT-friendly company (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

More than 54% of all consumers under the age of 34 also say they would choose an equality-focused brand over a competitor (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

More than 84% of self-identified LGBT consumers in the U.S. responded favorably to LGBT-friendly advertising (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

17% of respondents were likely to purchase from the brands with LGBTQ-themed ads, whereas 13% of respondents were likely to purchase from brands with generic-themed ads (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

16% of respondents said they’d recommend brands with LGBTQ-themed ads relative to 10% who viewed generic-themed ads (source).

statistics about lgbtq+ representation

72% of those surveyed in the LGBTQ+ community stated that they’re more likely to purchase from companies who advertise in the LGBTQ+ print and media (source).

Final Thoughts and Key Takeaways About LGBTQ+ Representation in Advertising

To borrow a word of advice from our previous blog post, it’s important not to leverage LGBTQ+ individuals in your advertising campaigns in a way that tokenizes or stereotypes these communities. Instead, include individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ in your campaigns as a way to normalize these communities and give them a voice.

An article from the Economist notes how much we still have to accomplish as a society when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation, “It’s also worth noting the relative lack of diversity in supposedly diverse communications. We don’t tend to see many LGBT people in advertising, but when we do, they are usually white, affluent, conventionally attractive cisgender men.”

The article goes on to say, “LGBT representation in advertising still has a long way to go, and the next big challenge facing advertisers is how to begin to address this intersectionality. How can we tell more nuanced stories that speak to a greater variety of identities when, as an industry, we are still struggling to include women and people of color? Handsome, smiling couples and rainbow flags are a nice start, but plenty of work remains.” (source)

Moving forward, we ask companies big and small to make the extra effort to include all walks of life in your advertising campaigns. 

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