ANA SeeHer And Getty Images Launch New Guide To Achieving Diversity In Visual Storytelling | About the ANA | ANA

ANA SeeHer And Getty Images Launch New Guide To Achieving Diversity In Visual Storytelling

Recommendations Come Amid COVID-19 as Marketers Rethink Messaging

NEW YORK (May 28, 2020) — The ANA’s SeeHer, in collaboration with Getty Images, today released guidelines on how marketers can use inclusive imagery to achieve diversity in their advertising amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in which advertisers are reviewing and changing their messaging.

The guide, “Inclusive Visual Storytelling for Women,” was written by SeeHer member Getty Images in collaboration with SeeHer, the industry leading movement for gender equality in advertising, marketing and entertainment.

“A recent ANA survey revealed that more than 90 percent of respondents indicated they have adjusted their marketing messaging since mid-March, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization,” said SeeHer President, Nadine Karp McHugh.  “With so many marketers reviewing their advertising, this new guide will help remind them that gender and ethnic diversity needs to be included in their revised strategy and planning.”

Founded in 2016, SeeHer’s mission is to increase accurate portrayals of girls and women in marketing, advertising, media, and entertainment, with the original goal to reduce unconscious bias and authentic portrayals by 20 percent by 2020. The group surpassed that goal in late 2018 and expanded the mission to have 80 percent of measured media bias-free by 2030.

“Getty Images is a passionate champion for the realistic representation of all through imagery, and through this partnership is proud to be leading the industry to change the way women are represented in media and advertising,” said Getty Images CEO Craig Peters. “While we’ve seen a positive shift in the popularity of imagery that realistically represents women, there’s a lot more to be done whether it is an internal document, a social media post or a global campaign.”

Recent research from Getty Images found that searches for “empowered woman” increased 138 percent, “girl power” by 133 percent, “real people” by 115 percent and “inclusion” by 126 percent year-over-year from 2018 to 2019. 

“This boost is more proof that today’s consumers are increasingly diverse, and our ability to connect in a way that shows that we understand and respect them as dynamic, authentic individuals is more than socially responsible, it’s good for business,” the guide stated.  It also cited a 2019 study by Deloitte Digital’s Heat agency known as “The Value of Diversity in Advertising” which looked at ads for 50 brands from the Top 200 media spenders and saw that those brands with the most representative ads saw a 44 percent growth in their stock over the previous two years.

In the guide, advertisers are encouraged to consider a range of factors to make their visual storytelling and messaging more inclusive, including:

  • GENDER: Push for a broader sense of equality.
  • RACE AND ETHNICITY: Put women of color in focus.
  • SEXUAL ORIENTATION: Don’t just speak out, speak loudly.
  • BODY TYPE: Model a more realistic look.
  • ABILITY: Empower change with authenticity.
  • AGE: Shine on people throughout their journey.
  • RELIGION: Turn a complex subject into an opportunity to stand out.



Despite strides made in recent years to accurately portray women and girls in media, unconscious bias persists throughout advertising and entertainment. The average age, race, and body type of women depicted in media today still represent only a small fraction of the female population. Led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), SeeHer is a collective of leading marketers committed to creating advertising and supporting content that portrays women and girls as they really are. It launched in June 2016 in partnership with The Female Quotient (The FQ) in Washington, D.C. at the United State of Women. To help marketers benchmark success, the group developed Gender Equality Measure™, (GEM™), the first research methodology that quantifies gender bias in ads and programming. GEM shows that content portraying women accurately dramatically increases purchase intent and brand reputation, increasing return on investment by as much as 30 percent. GEM won the prestigious 2017 ESOMAR Research Effectiveness Award, and the methodology became the industry standard, which led to a global rollout in 2018. In 2019 the movement expanded into new verticals, including sports (#SeeHerInSports) and music (#SeeHerHearHer.) Visit and follow us on Linked In, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @SeeHer2020.


The mission of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.


Getty Images is one of the most trusted and esteemed sources of visual content in the world, with over 400 million assets including photos, videos, and music, available through its industry-leading sites and The Getty Images website serves creative, business and media customers in nearly every country in the world and is the first-place people turn to discover, purchase and share powerful visual content from the world’s best photographers and videographers. Getty Images works with over 320,000 contributors and hundreds of image partners to provide comprehensive coverage of more than 160,000 news, sport and entertainment events each year, powerful creative imagery to communicate any commercial concept, and the world’s deepest digital archive of historic photography.


John Wolfe
Director of Communications
Office: 212.455.8011
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