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Brands like Banana Republic and Tiffany & Co have successfully featured same-sex couples and LGBTQ audiences in their advertising as part of an attempt to include gay audiences. And yet SA, famed for its diversity, continues to represent homosexuals either as clichés or stereotypes.
Marketing budgets need to work extra hard these days, and the LGBTQ audience is a decidedly niche market. Put these two facts together, and it’s understandable why so few brands have created advertising specifically targeting this market. That’s fine. I don’t expect brands to reach out to every single market segment – funds simply don’t allow for it.
What’s not fine, though, is that our “normal”, mainstream media is noteworthy for its lack of inclusivity. This means that gay people – especially young gay people – seldom (if ever) see anyone they can identify with, either on screen, online or in print. Imagine how that feels. Apart from further isolating young people struggling with issues of identity, it...
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