advertising industry

IMMAP launches award to promote gender equality in advertising

IMMAP launches award to promote gender equality in advertising
The Purple Boomerang award is set to be introduced in the 2021 Booms

Editor’s note: The Purple Boomerang is presented in cooperation with Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government. For this inaugural year, entrants to this category will be able to submit entries free of charge. Below is their press release.

With the triumphant return of the Boomerang Awards, aka “The Booms”, to honor the finest in Philippine Digital creativity and effectiveness, the Internet and Mobile Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) will also for the first time this year hand out an award that recognizes equal portrayals of women and men in brand campaigns.

The Purple Boomerang, presented in cooperation with Investing in Women (IW), an initiative of the Australian Government, will be awarded to brand campaigns that address stereotypes that limit women’s economic participation.

“Gender equality and women’s rights are areas that we at IMMAP feel strongly about,” said IMMAP President Leigh Reyes. “With the increased prominence of digital media in Filipinos’ lives, the time has come to recognize the brands that are doing their part.”

For this inaugural year, entrants will be able to submit entries for the Purple Boomerang category FREE OF CHARGE.

The Purple Boomerang jury will look for campaigns that challenge perceptions that women should be the primary carers and men the primary income earners, that some jobs are better suited to a specific sex, or that men are better leaders and women better in support roles.

A University of the Philippines analysis of more than 1,200 ads that ran in the Philippines in 2018 found that when campaigns depict characters in social contexts, women are overwhelmingly shown caring for children or doing the housework, while men are more likely than women to be shown in professions or skilled labor.

This depiction in ads might no longer match consumer realities.

In 2018, IW surveyed 1,000 women and 1,000 men aged 18-40 in the Philippines. Of the women surveyed, 58% identified economic independence as their main reason for working. Half of the men and a third of the women also said they share chores at home equally with spouses.

“Advertising plays an important role in shaping public discourse and perceptions. Yet we know that there is a tendency for one-dimensional gender portrayals in ads—where women are shown as the homemakers and men the breadwinners,” said IW CEO Dr. Julia Newton-Howes.

“For brands to remain relevant, they need to consider the changes in the way consumers live their lives,” added Dr. Newton-Howes. “This includes thinking through how women and men are increasingly sharing roles in the economy and at home, especially during COVID-19.”

For entry kits and more information on the Boomerang Awards, please register at  The deadline for submission of entries is on August 13, 2021. Click here for more information on Investing in Women. –