LGBTQ+ Consumers Less Satisfied With Their Advertising Portrayals

LGBTQ+ consumers are less satisfied than others with their portrayals in advertisements, per a study by Collage Group.

Only 38% are satisfied with how their sexuality is portrayed in ads, and 47% are satisfied with how their gender is depicted. And 44% agree that LGBTQ+ stories in movies, TV, books and podcasts focus too much on tragedy and discrimination.

LGBTQ+people are also more worried about their financial situations than others who do not identify as part of the community, according to the report.

These individuals are primed to slow spending in threatening economic times. When asked how they would adjust to financial struggles, 55% said they would frequent restaurants less, 44% said they would drive less, and 38% said they would cancel travel plans.

Financial situations aside, those in the LGBTQ+ demographic have a stronger urge to travel the world, vs. non-LGBTQ+ people.



The report seeks to answer questions including: How is the cultural identity of LGBTQ+ Americans evolving, and how can marketers leverage these shifts in their positioning and messaging?

Brands can use these details to better resonate with the LGBTQ+ community.

According to the report, LGBTQ+ Americans are self-assured, celebrate who they are, and are deeply in tune with the challenges others face. This group feels a responsibility to actively support those around them, although findings also reveal this demographic is a frequent target of bias and discrimination. 

LGBTQ+ consumers reward brands committed to supporting their segment and a range of other underrepresented groups, according to Collage.

The report cited some companies that were effectively connecting with this consumer group, including Absolut, Apple, Grubhub, H&M, McDonald’s, United and Virgin Airlines.

The LGBTQ+ community numbers between 20 and 35 million American adults, per Gallup and Census Bureau statistics, respectively. The high proportion of young Americans who identify as LGBTQ+ indicates the community will continue to grow in size and prominence.

Nearly one-third (28%) of Gen Z and 16% of millennials say they are LGBTQ+, compared to 9% of Gen X and 7% of baby boomers.

“Since LGBTQ+ identity transcends other demographic markers, the segment is inherently diverse,” per the study. “There are nearly infinite identities and circumstances included within the LGBTQ+ umbrella.”

The Collage Group fielded the study of 5,030 consumers in January 2023. Non-LGBTQ+ totaled 4,347, while LGBTQ+ consumers totaled 683.


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