Marketers are becoming increasingly focused on representing modern day society more accurately in their campaigns, new research has found.

According to Shutterstock, 51 per cent of marketers believe it is more important to be representative when they are choosing marketing imagery.

This is up from 30 per cent in 2016 – a significant increase that Shutterstock believes is partly down to the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) ban on gender-related stereotyping.

More than a third of those polled said they have used more images of women in their marketing material over the last year.

Meanwhile, a similar proportion said they have featured more images of same-sex couples in their marketing during this period.

Robyn Lange, a curator at Shutterstock, said she is pleased that the ASA’s announcement is having an impact on marketers and encouraging them to move away from stereotypical imagery.

“Marketing campaigns have a strong visual impact on public life,” she commented.

“Therefore, marketers need to be more inclusive through their choice of images and ensure that they are representing people in society effectively.”

Ms Lange went on to state that marketers are starting to recognise that choosing images that are relatable to diverse groups benefits their brand’s reputation. 

Indeed, she said that “serving them images of perfection” is no longer the best way to strike a chord with consumers, as social media has helped to change the way people view images.

“Consumers prefer images that accurately portray the world around them, as opposed to a perfected version of the world offered by marketers,” Ms Lange added.

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