According to research from Getty Images, findings of which were revealed in a second wave of research for Visual GPS, completed in conjunction with global market research firm YouGov, nearly 80% of people globally say it isn’t enough to have people of various ethnicities, backgrounds and appearances in advertising but that they expect companies to do a better job at capturing people’s true lifestyles and cultures.

“Visual GPS shows that amid the COVID-19 pandemic and despite massive changes in people’s lives, the demand for more diversity in visual communications has only increased,” says Dr. Rebecca Swift, global head of creative insights at Getty Images.

Other findings from Getty Images’ research:

  • 63% of people prefer to buy brands that are founded by or represent people like themselves. These results hold steady across generations and gender, with only modest differences across global regions.
  • Searches have increased year over year for ‘diversity’ (up 133%), ‘culture’ (up 115%), ‘real people’ (up 115%) and ‘inclusion’ (up 126%).
  • From May to June alone, customer searches for diverse images increased by 200% and searches for images around unity and equality increased by 500%, trends that are believed to be intensified due to anti-racism protests.
  • 62% of people feel they have been discriminated against, with this more common among Gen Z relative to other generations, among women relative to men, and by consumers in the Americas, relative to Europe and APAC.
  • 57% of respondents in North America say they experience discrimination based on the color of their skin, compared to Europe and APAC.
  • 53% of respondents in North America also see discrimination as being based in people making assumptions about their background, more so than any other region.
  • In Europe, more than half (56%) of people who feel discriminated against feel so because of assumptions being made about their nationality or country of origin.
  • Of people who feel they have been discriminated against, only 14% say they are well-represented in advertising and 15% in business communications.

The second wave of Visual GPS findings around representation is part of a much bigger effort by Getty Images to address underrepresentation and misrepresentation of different groups in visual communications. The company has spent over a decade working to break down stereotypes and create more authentic content which it has done through commercial imagery collections including, Nosotros, The Disability Collection and Project ShowUs.