Advertising That Overturns Long-Held Gender Stereotypes and Accurately Represents Women is Critical to Unlocking Purchase Power Among Younger Generations & People of Color

NEW YORKMay 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Accurate gender representation in advertising is driving measurable business outcomes for brands—such as heightened consumer trust, loyalty and, most importantly, improved sales performance—according to SeeHer’s latest Gender Equality Measure (GEM®) Lift research. SeeHer is a global movement, within the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), to accurately portray women and girls in marketing, advertising, media and entertainment. SeeHer spearheaded GEM®, the global gold standard of measuring gender bias in advertising and content.

Starting in 2019, SeeHer’s GEM® Lift analysis has been conducted biennially in partnership with Circana, the leading advisor on the complexity of consumer behavior. It measures the impact on business growth when gender equality principles are embedded in advertising campaigns.

“Our research clearly demonstrates that—apart from contributing to a more inclusive media and marketing landscape—advancing gender equality in advertising is a business imperative for any brand that wants to not only thrive today but also survive in the future,” said Christine Guilfoyle, President of SeeHer. “Younger consumers have higher expectations when it comes to accurate portrayals of women in advertising and lower tolerance for gender stereotypes. Considering the economic purchasing power of women and long-term purchasing power of younger generations, the time is now for brands and marketers to prioritize gender equity best practices in their marketing strategies for real economic impact.”

Partnering with L’Oréal, Kellogg, Kellanova, Nestlé, and Georgia Pacific, SeeHer and Circana analyzed 24 creatives across eight brands. The GEM® Lift Study 2024 is featured in SeeHer’s report, “Unlocking Purchase Power Across Ethnicities and Generations Through the Accurate Portrayal of Women and Girls,” which highlights the value that brands have been capturing over the last five years by investing in gender equality in their advertising campaigns.

Results from the new GEM® Lift Study build on and surpass prior research. Based on the GEM® analysis, creative advertising that overturns long-held stereotypes and accurately represents women can drive incremental sales lifts of up to 10X, a notable increase compared to a 5X sales lift seen in the 2019 analysis. The stronger uplift in sales from exposure to higher-GEM®-scoring creatives is also seen among men and consumers of different races, ethnicities and generations.

“Brands are starting to appreciate how gender equality in advertising can drive sales growth,” said Erika Digirolamo, Director of Media and Marketing Solutions for Circana. “Our research continues to prove that accurately representing women of different ethnicities and ages can boost sales. Equality starts with cultural perceptions and media plays a key role in both furthering and combating cultural perceptions, and quantitative evaluation is key to moving the industry in an upward direction.”


Younger generations have been characterized as the most diverse in U.S. history. They desire narratives of personal growth, self-realization and female empowerment, aligning with the key performance drivers of GEM®. SeeHer’s latest round of GEM® Lift research offers new insights on how generational disparities factor into creative preference. When these narratives are prioritized, the increase in sales lift among Gen Z and younger millennials exceeds that of older age groups with a 9X sales lift with higher-GEM®-scoring creatives.


The latest GEM® Lift findings broken down by race and ethnicity underscore the need for brands to consider not just representation of gender but also of race and ethnicity to recognize optimal value. The GEM® Lift Study 2024 shows notable increases in sales lift among African-American and Hispanic consumers. Additionally, findings suggest that featuring ethnically diverse women on screen leads to improved return on advertising investment among all households regardless of race or ethnicity.

Latha Sarathy, Chief Research Officer for the ANA and SeeHer noted that, “The majority of consumers understand the immense power that advertising and media have in challenging stereotypes and shaping gender roles. Yet, we have seen portrayals of women take a step backward with an 18% decline in women shown in leadership roles over the past two years. Advertising and media need to be a force for change to unlock the $10 trillion purchasing power of women in the U.S. and meet rising consumer expectations of how women and girls are depicted in creative and content with intentionality across different audience segments.”


GEM® stands as the global benchmark for assessing gender equality, particularly within advertising and content. Notably, GEM®, developed in partnership with ABX, pioneered the ability to quantify gender bias embedded in advertising and content.

Awarded the prestigious ESOMAR Award for its effectiveness in ad measurement, GEM® boasts the largest database of tested advertisements, exceeding 300,000 samples worldwide, with 73,000 spanning global markets. Operating in 14 countries that collectively represent close to 90% of global ad spending.

Benefiting from seven years of global multi-platform normative data and benchmarks, the GEM® methodology facilitates correlations between brand health, sales, and factors such as gender, race/ethnicity, and language. GEM® evaluates consumer reactions to four key statements regarding the portrayal of women and girls in ads and programming. Expressed as an index, a GEM® score of 100 is on par with the baseline for all tested ads. Scores above 100 indicate an increase in the representation, presentation, appropriateness, and role model status of women in the advertisement or programming.


Marrying the GEM® methodology, which measures detailed consumer reaction to gender portrayals, to Circana TV Lift™ created a unique solution wherein the GEM® Lift methodology gauges the equality of ads, provides campaign reads for TV, and layers these inputs with shopper and sales data, including more than 500 million frequent shopper loyalty cards from multiple national retailers. GEM® Lift examines the relationship of ad exposure to offline sales by combining frequent shopper and omnichannel store sales data with macroeconomic factors and TV advertising viewership exposure data, supported by iSpot technology.

DiGennaro Communications
Naylet Aguayo


SeeHer is the global initiative to champion the positive representation of women and the leading global movement to eliminate gender bias in marketing, media, and entertainment. Launched in 2016 by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) SeeHer’s coalition of leaders is committed to setting the gender equality agenda for the industry and driving growth for their businesses. To help its members benchmark success and become catalysts for change, SeeHer spearheaded the development of the Gender Equality Measure® (GEM®), the first research methodology that quantifies gender bias in ads and programming. Winning the prestigious ESOMAR Research Effectiveness Award, GEM® is the global measurement standard, proving that content accurately portraying women and girls dramatically increases purchase intent and brand reputation. SeeHer’s suite of training and resources, including GEM®, enables marketers to prioritize best practices as part of an always-on approach to driving growth. The movement includes the following vertical expertise: SeeHer in Sports, SeeHer Entertainment, SeeHer Health, and the SeeHer Media Task Force. Visit to join the movement and follow SeeHer on LinkedIn and Instagram.


The ANA’s mission is to drive growth for marketing professionals, for brands and businesses, and for the industry. Growth is foundational for all participants in the ecosystem. The ANA seeks to align those interests by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed and embraced by the ANA Board of Directors and the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of over 1,400 domestic and international companies, including more than 900 client-side marketers and nonprofit fundraisers and 500 marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). Collectively, ANA member companies represent 20,000 brands, engage 50,000 industry professionals, and invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.


Circana is the leading adviser on the complexity of consumer behavior. Through unparalleled technology, advanced analytics, cross-industry data, and deep expertise, we provide clarity that helps almost 7,000 of the world’s leading brands and retailers take action and unlock business growth. We understand more about the complete consumer, the complete store, and the complete wallet so our clients can go beyond the data to apply insights, ignite innovation, meet consumer demand, and outpace the competition. Learn more at Check us out on our social channels: LinkedIn, InstagramFacebookX YouTube


ABX is a techno-research company focused on driving ROAS & Profits through their Global Integrated Single Solution. Marketers through the ABX Global Multimedia/Multi Channel Platform can evaluate the effectiveness of all their creative and copy across all media types and channels, and against their competitors’ and other ads, representing approximately 90% of global ad spend. Other valuable consumer data is also available for making informed, time-sensitive business decisions. Designed by the visionaries, pioneers and inventors who helped create the methodologies used by legacy marketing research firms.


iSpot helps advertisers drive ad effectiveness with unified TV and video measurement, from creative to audience to outcomes. Our fast, accurate, and actionable measurement solutions enable advertisers to assess creative effectiveness, improve media plans, and drive business outcomes from TV and streaming advertising. iSpot solutions are purpose-built to measure the performance of every ad on TV with digital-like precision and granularity. Empowered with always-on cross-platform performance insights, advertisers can take quick and confident action to cut wasted ad spend. With currency-grade measurement, large-scale verified insights, and deep competitive intelligence, iSpot gives advertisers control and confidence amid the chaos of the new media landscape.