Survey: Indian ad portrayals reflect women's growing power

India's industry professionals see women gaining independence in society and on screen

MUMBAI — IAA-Hansa Research Study has released the findings of its industry survey on "Changing trends in portrayal of women in Indian advertising."

Ninety-one percent of respondents agreed that "women are shouldering equal responsibilities with men in the family." The research polled senior marketing managers and creative directors of advertising agencies across Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.

The research further suggests that changing portrayals are the result of women’s education, financial independence, growing status as breadwinners, self-realization of their rights and emergence as role models.

The International Advertising Association India Chapter commissioned the research study, and Hansa Research came forward to do this study at cost. The results were unveiled here Dec. 10.

The seminar was conducted in association with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); well-known NGO Laadli; and the Advertising Council of India (ACI).

The study reports 94 percent of respondents said women in advertisements were portrayed as "energetic," followed by 93 percent for "multi-taskers" and 87 percent as "modern."

Eighty-eight percent said women’s satisfaction has become more of a priority in Indian society. The same percentage felt that a woman's ambitions are no longer restricted to finding a good life partner. Eighty-six percent believe women are more independent than they used to be.

Srinivasan K. Swamy, president, IAA India Chapter and vice president – development, Asia Pacific, IAA and chairman and managing director, R.K. Swamy Hansa Group, said, "I thank all the industry professionals and organizations who came forward to support this initiative. … This was yet another initiative which clearly underlines our commitment to the philosophy that what is good, is good for business."

Monica Tata, managing director, HBO India, and chairperson of "Changing Gender Frames" said, "I am delighted with the findings of the study. While the sentiment around the messaging a few years ago was that it was reinforcing the stereotypes, India is clearly showing signs of moving towards a more progressive society where women are perceived as equals."

The full report will be available at

Read the full story on

Subscribe today for just $116 a year

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free