ADD2210 The Women We See research for Behind Every Great City campaign

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2210
Date signed: 
06 March 2018
Decision by: 
Emma Strain, Executive Director, Communities and Intelligence

Executive summary

As part of the Mayor of London's overall commitment to tackling gender inequality, approval is sought to commission research on the portrayal of gender in advertising in London to provide an objective look at both women and men’s views of advertising. The research would launch a Mayor of London and TfL advertising competition that invites brands to submit advertising creative with a positive and diverse representation of women. The aim would be to highlight the issues around the representation of women in advertising that are still present today and to encourage brands and the industry to portray women positively and accurately. This is part of the Mayor’s 2018 campaign #BehindEveryGreatCity approved previously via MD2099.

The research would be carried out by UCL and part sponsored by Exterion and JC Decaux who jointly manage the TfL advertising estate.

Decision

That the Assistant Director of External Relations approves:

1. Expenditure of up to £20,000 to pay for a research project on the portrayal of gender in advertising in London, providing an objective look at both women and men’s views of advertising.

2. Expenditure of up to £20,000 for polling, video content for press / social media, and design costs for the final research report.

3. Receipt of £29,000 in sponsorship from Exterion and JCDecaux towards the cost of the above, making the net cost of the project to the GLA £11,000.

4. An exemption from the Contracts and Funding Code to award the research contract directly to UCL, noting that the sponsor income has been achieved based on the UCL proposal.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

MD2099 approves £1m expenditure on marketing and engagement campaigns for the GLA. The PR agency, Freuds, was procured via a competitive process for the Mayor of London’s Behind Every Great City campaign. The campaign highlights London’s story in the history of the women’s suffrage and equality movement, celebrating significant milestones and achievements while identifying and tackling barriers to women fulfilling their potential.

One strand of the campaign is the ‘Women We See’ research, which will launch a diversity of women in advertising competition from the Mayor of London and TfL. Freuds assessed all of the leading London universities to identify the best research partner. Freuds recommended UCL because they have a strong gender studies department, their experience best matched the research brief and they were responsive and receptive to working on the project.

The total cost of the work is £40,000, £29,000 of which is being covered by sponsorship from Exterion and JCDecaux. Exterion and JCDecaux are also working with the Mayor of London and TfL on the advertising competition so there is a strong link between both aspects of the Behind Every Great City campaign. Therefore, the net cost of the work to the GLA is £11,000.

Of the total £40,000 cost, £20,000 is the cost of the academic research via UCL. The remaining £20,000 is for polling (quantitative research), video content for press and use on social media and design costs for the final research report.

The GLA will procure UCL directly and requests an exemption from the contracts and funding code to procure the research competitively. The polling, video content for press / social media, and design services for the final research report (estimated expenditure of up to £20,000) will be procured by the GLA’s PR agency, Freuds. Freuds was procured competitively.

For the research to be newsworthy and to highlight and progress the issue of gender representation in advertising, the research must be independent and academically robust. UCL is presently the leading London university in researching gender studies. UCL already has a working relationship with Freuds, which will save time and money in proceeding with the research and as such, UCL is unique in its ability to provide compatibility with existing agency, Freuds, for the Behind Every Great City campaign. Working with a commercial research agency, would likely be more expensive and could be detrimental to the project (less independent and not academically robust). Going through a procurement process would likely result in the same outcome.

The recommendation is to appoint UCL as the research company. Given they are the leading London university in gender research, they will need no prompting or advising as to what is required. UCL has the knowledge and contacts to offer the most in-depth and robust results. As such, UCL offers value for money.

UCL already has a good working relationship with Freuds, therefore there is no need for introductions, handover period or gaining of a working relationship as these are already in place.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The research aims, as part of the Mayor’s Behind Every Great City campaign, to identify women’s and men’s views on the portrayal of gender in advertising in London. The research will be solutions focused, providing recommendations to brands and the advertising industry on what women and men would like to see in advertising to ensure it positively and accurately represents women.

The research will launch the Mayor’s and TfL’s diversity of women in advertising competition.

The collective aim is to highlight the issues around the representation of women in advertising that are still present today and to encourage brands and the industry to portray women positively and accurately. The intended outcome is for the research and competition to act as a catalyst to a step change in the advertising industry.

Equality comments

Under s149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Equality Act), as a public authority the Deputy Mayor/MOPAC must have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and any conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act; and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (the duty in respect of this last characteristic is to eliminate unlawful discrimination only). The Assistant Director is referred to the Appendix which sets out the public sector equality duty in full.

The Behind Every Great City campaign is part of the Mayor's overall commitment to tackling gender inequality. The research and competition aims to ensure the diversity of women is accurately and positively represented in advertising and this includes women with protected characteristics.

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues

Not undertaking the research and competition will be detrimental to the Behind Every Great City campaign as this is a key strand of the year-long campaign. If the issue of diversity of women in advertising is not highlighted, brands and the advertising industry will not progress, which will continue to impact on how women are seen and how they see themselves.

The £29,000 sponsorship for this research project is aligned to the UCL research proposal. Not undertaking this research with UCL could risk the sponsorship for the project, resulting is an increased cost to the GLA.

b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

The Behind Every Great City campaign, including the research and competition, is part of the Mayor's overall commitment to tackling gender inequality.

c) impact assessments and consultations

The GLA’s PR agency was procured competitively and it has assessed all of the leading London universities to identify the best research partner.

UCL’s research proposal has been appropriately interrogated to ensure meaningful results that have the potential to drive a step change in the advertising industry.

Financial comments

The estimated total cost of this proposal is £40,000 and will be part funded via sponsorship income totalling £29,000 from ‘Exterion’ and ‘JC Decaux’ who jointly manage the TfL advertising estate. The balance of £11,000 will be funded from the GLA’s Marketing & Engagement budget for 2017-18 as approved by MD2099.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

Feb 2018

Announcement [if applicable]

n/a

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

Feb 2018

Main milestones – research launch

July 2018 (tbc)

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external) [delete as applicable]:

July 2018

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

Feb 2018

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

Feb 2018