Brands Aren't Following Through On Anti-Racism Pledges, And Consumers Are Noticing
Photo Credit: Oli Scarff

Brands Aren't Following Through On Anti-Racism Pledges, And Consumers Are Noticing

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers surveyed in a new report said they feel like brands have done little to nothing to follow through on the anti-racism pledges they made last summer.

Big name brands like Snapchat, adidas, Yelp, and PepsiCo made promises to improve their diversity and inclusion efforts following protests due to the murder of George Floyd. A year later and 34 percent of consumers said brands had done little to tackle their internal racial problems, while 27 percent of consumers believe they have done even less than that.

Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 were, by volume, the largest demonstrations in American history. As a result, they have had a serious lasting effect on both the national conversation around race, as well as the responsibility of businesses to do their part in tackling racism,” GWI Trends Analyst Doug Gorman said in a press release. “Now more than ever, consumers are actually holding brands accountable for their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.”

Polling and audience targeting company GWI published these findings. The company collected the data in a May study, which surveyed 2,059 internet users across America, ages 16 to 64.

Here’s a further breakdown of the demographics of the consumers surveyed:

  • 384 are people of color.
  • 1,657 are white.
  • 362 are 16-34-years old.
  • 304 are 25-34-years-old.
  • 560 are 35-44-years-old.
  • 488 are 45-54-years-old.
  • 649 are 55-64-years-old.

Allyship has been a hot topic since Black Lives Matter protests swept the nation last summer, and what this shows us is that there may be some white people who are still showing up in numbers for the minority communities, even if brands aren’t. GWI’s research found that the Black Lives Matter Movement has increased the importance of anti-Black racism efforts for adults under 35-years-old the most. In the survey, 45 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds, which encompasses many Millennials, said that the movement has made tackling anti-Black racism a more critical issue.

One of the most interesting findings in the report was that men are more likely than women to say brands have not done enough to follow through on their pledges. Roughly 64 percent of men said brands had done little to nothing to push their anti-racism pledges, while 58 percent of women agreed.

Here are some other key findings from the study that GWI shared in a press release:

  • 66 percent of people of color surveyed believe brands have done little or nothing at this point regarding their anti-racism pledges.
  • One-third of individuals from the 55 to 64 age group said they were “not sure” when asked how much they believe brands have followed through on anti-racism pledges (the highest among all age groups).
  • 55.7 percent of 55 to 64-year-olds also chose “no” when asked if the Black Lives Matter movement made tackling anti-Black racism a more important issue to them.
  • Only 27 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds and 26 percent of 35 to 44-year-olds said brands have followed through “a lot” on their anti-racism pledges.
  • 37 percent of adults living in urban areas said brands have followed through on their pledges “a little,” and nearly one-quarter said “a lot.”
  • On average, 28 percent of consumers surveyed said this anti-Black racism issue was already important to them. 
  • While most adults ages 45 and older said the Black Lives Matter movement hasn’t made tackling this issue more important, 28 percent of 45 to 54-year-olds and 22 percent of 55 to 64-year-olds said the issue was already important to them.

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