Mars Inc. has some work to do in achieving true gender equality in its advertising.

The McLean, Virginia-based company – which owns candy brands like Twix and Milky Way, grocery lines including Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s, and pet-food offerings such as Pedigree and Whiskas – assessed 200 of its TV spots, as well as 300 different characters, and discovered:

  • the ratio of men to women in its ads stood at 3:2;
  • male characters were nearly twice as likely to be shown working than their female counterparts;
  • 22% of men were portraying leaders, falling to 17% for women;
  • 26% of males in these commercials were depicted as having a job, versus 11% for females.

“The data was extremely eye-opening,” Berta de Pablos-Barbier, global chief category officer for Mars Wrigley – and who is tasked with driving the growth agenda for brands like Snickers, M&M’s, Skittles and Orbit – admitted at the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.