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Global marketing giant Ogilvy & Mather launches dedicated LGBT division

Global marketing giant Ogilvy & Mather launches dedicated LGBT division

Andrew Barratt

Although marketing giant Ogilvy & Mather only launched its first LGBT employee network, Ogilvy Pride, last year, the company has quickly caught on to the commercial potential of the LGBT market.

It has just announced that it has developed Ogilvy Pride into a dedicated commercial specialism within the organization.

As part of this, staff members will now be able to work directly with clients in exploring the potential of the global LGBT market – a consumer group that it believes is worth in excess of $3trillion (€2.67trillion).

A spokesperson told Gay Star Business that the figure was, ‘Sourced from a number or research pieces undertaken by Stonewall, Business Insider and the FT.’

‘Ogilvy Pride will enable new and current clients to harness the consumer spending power of LGBT individuals in brand marketing and communication programs,’ said a statement from the company about the development.

‘The inclusion of minority groups, such as the LGBT community, in mainstream marketing content allows our clients to reach consumer groups that have previously gone unrecognized and position their brand as progressive.’

Ogilvy employs 22,950 staff in 538 offices in 126 countries. It specializes in advertising, public relations and public affairs, and branding. High-profile clients include American Express, Coca Cola, IBM, British Airways and SC Johnson.

In a press release, Ogilvy & Mather says that Ogilvy Pride has already had an influence, helping the company to win the business of Turner Broadcasting’s truTV in the UK. TruTV is the broadcaster of RuPaul’s Drag Race in the UK.

‘Shifts in social attitudes and the considerable spending power of LGBT people provides huge opportunity for brands to harness Ogilvy Pride’s specialist expertise,’ said Andrew Barratt, head of Ogilvy Pride.

‘By 2020 it is estimated that in London alone the traditional mainstream majority will be outnumbered by minority groups. For a global brand campaign to be truly strategic in its communications, consideration of minority consumer audiences such as LGBT is now key.’

‘Ogilvy Pride began as a grass roots community to champion diversity in the workplace and has quickly grown into a key specialism for the business,’ said Michael Frohlich, UK CEO, EAME COO, Ogilvy Public Relations in a statement.

‘Ogilvy Pride both responds to, and capitalizes on, the huge appetite from brands to understand and tap into LGBT audiences in order to further diversify and grow their consumer audiences.’

Ogilvy Pride is also the first global agency to partner with UK-based LGBT advocacy organization, Stonewall. A spokesperson for Stonewall told Gay Star Business: ‘It’s great to see Ogilvy launch a specialism that specifically looks out for the needs of the LGBT community.’

In the US, Ogilvy & Mather Group scored a top ranking of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s most recent Corporate Equality Index.

Below, in a recent video produced by Ogilvy Pride, Jonathan Mildenhall, the Chief Marketing Officer of Airbnb, explains why initiatives such as Ogilvy Pride are important in the marketing industry; an industry he describes as ‘inherently conservative’.