Leading an Evolution: LGBTQ+ Inclusive Brand Building in Partnership with GLAAD

Last week, P&G welcomed GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis to Cincinnati as part of our annual Diversity and Inclusion Week. The overall theme of our company’s D&I Week 2020, #MyPerspectiveMatters, recognized employees and brands who are championing D&I by ways that build the business, advocate for cultural change, and make an impact within the walls of P&G, and beyond.

Sarah Kate joined other featured speakers including Alex Keith, CEO of P&G Beauty, and Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, in a special forum to explore the changing business case for LGBTQ+ inclusive brand building.

Brent group

P&G’s Brent Miller, Marc Pritchard and Alex Keith with GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis

“We are still very much at the beginning of a broad cultural shift that is more fully embracing the LGBTQ+ community,” shared Alex, who also is co-executive sponsor of P&G’s LGBTQ+ Equality efforts. “As part of our Citizenship practice, we are bringing LGBTQ+ inclusivity to our brands in a range of ways, and it is an evolution of brand building. This is a reflection of our culture, consumer expectations and the shifting role that companies play in shaping dialogue about visibility, understanding, normalization, and shared humanity.”

Marc Pritchard

“Our job is to accurately portray all of humanity including those with different sexual orientations and gender identities,” said Marc during his remarks. “Visibility is crucial, and we are committed to getting this right.”

Over the past year, P&G has been on the forefront of LGBTQ+ inclusive marketing with a series of powerful campaigns including Gillette’s “First Shave” showcasing a transgender man shaving for the first time to Pantene’s Power to Transform campaign which is coming to life in different ways around the world.

“Brands should leverage ads to spotlight diversity, inclusion and acceptance,” said Sarah Kate. “I’m standing with P&G to grow the quality and quantity of inclusive ads at a time when LGBTQ visibility has never been more important.”

P&G acknowledged during the event that we are in the early stages of our journey and are learning more about how to lead with LGBTQ+ inclusive brand building.

In January, Marc Prichard joined Sarah Kate Ellis during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to highlight the importance of LGBTQ-inclusive brand building.

“We’re taking it to the next level with a new approach to LGBTQ+ marketing, by building it into the fabric of how we build brands—versus ‘bolting it on’ as a separate effort. We build in valuable insights that responsibly represent the values and culture of the LGBTQ+ community that link closely to the character of our brands—never stereotyping…never misappropriating,” said Marc.

Through these initiatives and commitments, we are proud to reaffirm what it means to truly serve as a force for good AND a force for growth.

“We cannot and will not ignore both the opportunity and obligation we have to do represent ALL consumers well,” said Marc.

Alex Keith closed out her remarks during the D&I Week event sharing a comment left on Paris Lee’s Instagram account, a transgender model and activist featured in Pantene’s #HairHasNoGender Campaign. The comment related to the Pantene campaign:

“My daughter's jaw dropped when she watched it - she's struggled with bullying recently, and this blew her mind, to see a trans woman out there modelling with other women, looking gorgeous, happy and confident. She also really related to what you said about hair, as her hair is a big part of her self-identity. She's watched it on a loop. This matters. You matter. Thank you.”