What is the Progressive Unstereotype Metric

The Progressive Unstereotype Metric (PUM) measures representations of age, race and ethnicity, and disability. It should be implemented in the existing Gender Unstereotype Metric (GUM) which evaluates female and male characters.

PUM was developed by the Unstereotype Alliance, which is an industry-led coalition convened by UN Women to eradicate harmful stereotypes in advertising content, with Kantar. The benchmark research, conducted by Kantar, found that under-represented communities were rarely featured in advertising in 2022.

It stated that only 1 percent of ads, globally, feature a person living with a disability; 33 percent feature people with different skin colors and ethnicities, while 33 percent of men and 21 percent of women in ads are over the age of 40.

Unstereotype Metric | Gender Unstereotype Metric
Image Source: asiapacific.unwomen.org

PUM, the new metric, aligns with the Unstereotype Alliance’s extended mandate to eradicate all harmful stereotypes. Sara Denby, Head of the Unstereotype Alliance Secretariat at UN Women, said it has been critical to authentically represent the full and rich diversity of our communities in advertising.

“But on the halfway point of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), when we are so off track, this has come into even sharper focus. The influence of the advertising industry and the unrivaled reach of advertising content means we can re-set representation for the better and help drive positive social change.”

She said PUM will help transform deeply ingrained social norms, and to measure that transformation on a per-market basis, which is so desperately needed.

Image Source: unstereotypealliance.org

Sarah Morrell, Senior Creative Lead at Kantar, believes it’s important that the Alliance takes a leadership position in this debate. “It’s our intention that the launch of the new metric, which has been validated by our consumer testing in Brazil, India, Turkiye, the United Kingdom, and the USA, challenges our partners in the industry, to refocus on the contribution of their work has in achieving UN SDGs.”

The new metric PUM can be used alongside the existing GUM which was released in 2019.

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Nandika Chand