WFA Launches Global Census Of The Advertising And Marketing Industry

WFA is launching what it is calling the first-ever global census of the marketing and advertising industry.

The survey is designed to assess progress on the diversity front — which the WFA concludes hasn’t been much — by analyzing workforce composition across the industry. It will also probe perceptions of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including industry workers’ sense of belonging and their perception of progress.

The intent is to establish a baseline for the global industry, which will help inform an action plan for improvement led by WFA’s Diversity & Inclusion taskforce.

“For all the talk of ‘we are in this together’, the pandemic has shown this to be simply untrue,” said Stephan Loerke, WFA CEO.  “Inequalities have been exacerbated by [the pandemic]. 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 WFA is partnering with several organizations on the effort including Kantar, the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) and the global agencies association VoxComm, and a number of national advertiser associations as well as their agency counterparts, and Campaign.  

The participating markets in this census via national advertiser and agency associations so far include more than two dozen countries across North America, LATAM, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Members of the WFA’s D&I taskforce will be driving the initiative “top-down” via their own employees, clients, partners and marketing supply chains. Supporting organizations include Brand Advance, Diageo, Ferrero, Grupo Bimbo, GSK, Havas, Mars, Mondelez, m/SIX and Reckitt.

The questionnaire will go live between June 21 and July 2. The results will be compiled and analyzed 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 the fall.  There will be a follow-up survey in 18 months to measure progress.


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