Mumbai, Apr 16 (PTI) Cultural diversity is missing from the country's advertising, a report by the industry's self-regulatory body ASCI and a UN body said on Tuesday.

The report said that less than one per cent of promotional campaigns feature persons belonging to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community as well as disabled, while only 4 per cent campaigns show people aged above 65.

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The study by Kantar on behalf of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and UN Women Convened Unstereotype Alliance scrutinised over 261 ads in 13 languages, and mapped them on dimensions of age, gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, physical appearance, social class, disabilities, and religion.

"Ads that are stuck in stereotypical depictions are missing a trick in connecting with India's diverse consumer base," ASCI's chief executive and secretary general Manisha Kapoor said, adding progressive advertising works better for society and for brands.

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With 45 per cent of advertisements featuring only women, Indian advertising scores over the global average of 25 per cent, but the portrayal of women needs improvement, the report said.

Women characters are more stereotyped and shown as fair and lean versus men, it said, adding portrayal of women is also anchored to care-giving, and that of men to authority.

Only 3 per cent of Indian ads had representation from ethnic groups as against the global average of 19 per cent, while only 4 per cent showed diversity of skin tone as against the global average of 27 per cent, the report said.

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