Irish advertising and marketing practitioners urged by Association of Advertisers in Ireland (AAI) to take part in first ever global industry census of diversity and inclusion

  • World Federation of Advertisers census questionnaire is live until 2 July
  • Irish survey results will feed into global initiative to investigate workforce composition across the industry
  • 22 countries taking part in bid to establish tangible baseline for the global industry which will help inform an action plan for improvement led by the WFA

The Association of Advertisers in Ireland (AAI), the national advocacy group for promoting the interests of advertisers, is delighted to announce that the first ever global census of the advertising and marketing industry is now open for completion by Irish advertising and marketing practitioners.

The research will assess where the global advertising and marketing industry is in relation to diversity, equity and inclusion by investigating workforce composition across the industry. It will also look at people’s perception of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including their sense of belonging and their perception of progress.

Members of the Irish advertising and marketing sector can now visit this site to give their insights and the census questionnaire will be live until July 2:

The WFA believe that the strains and pressures of the pandemic have made it harder for many organisations to prioritise their diversity and inclusion efforts, while research has found that many women, in particular, have considered leaving the profession. Working alongside Kantar, the goal is to generate the largest and most representative sample possible, with the aim of establishing a tangible baseline for the global industry which will help inform an action plan for improvement led by the WFA’s taskforce.

Ireland has been chosen as one of the 22 countries to participate in the census and the other countries are: Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Greece, the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates), Hong Kong (SAR), China, India, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and USA.

The results will be compiled and analysed by Kantar and the key findings will be published by Campaign’s global network of editions later in the year and presented at leading industry events in October 2021. The results will also be used as the basis for an action plan devised and led by WFA’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.

Barry Dooley, Chief Executive of the AAI, said: During lockdown, while some companies focused on survival, diversity and inclusion took a back seat but never before has D&I been so important. We owe it to employees to put greater emphasis on this as the breadth of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences is what enables success and drives growth. This global industry-first research is a huge step in advancing diversity and inclusion across the industry. In addition, the AAI and WFA look forward to conducting this survey every year so that this situation can be continually monitored for the benefit of the advertising and marketing industry as a whole.”

Stephan Loerke, WFA CEO, added: “This is a historic moment for our industry. For all the talk of ‘we are in this together’, the pandemic has shown this to be simply untrue. Inequalities have been exacerbated by recent hardships. Anecdotal evidence suggests the industry is going backwards on diversity and inclusion. It is imperative we get a first-ever industry baseline so that we can draw a line in the sand and move forward together in improving the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry.”

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) makes marketing better by championing more effective and sustainable marketing communications. It is the voice of marketers worldwide, representing 90% of global marketing communications spend – roughly US$900 billion per annum.

WFA connects the world’s biggest brand owners and national advertiser associations in more than 60 markets, bringing together tens of thousands of brands at local level. Together, they create a global network which offers a unique source of leadership, expertise and inspiration. More information at

The Association of Advertisers in Ireland was established in 1951, to advance the commercial interests of advertisers by advocating for the right to responsible self-regulation and fair competition. The AAI provides its members with a forum for intelligent exchange, access to a network of industry leaders and opportunities to shape policies that impact commercial communication.