CultureConnect Podcast Series: Episode #4: Contending with Algorithmic Bias

May 5, 2022 — Episode #4: Contending with Algorithmic Bias, a conversation with, Janelle James, SVP, Ipsos IUU (Council Co-Chair), Kalinda Ukanwa, Assistant Professor of Marketing at USC’s Marshall School of Business. Amanda Bower, Machine Learning Researcher at Twitter. Hui Wang, VP/Director of Global Data Intelligence – Analytics Service, at Publicis Media. Kathy Sheehan, Senior Vice President at Cassandra. Ilinca Barsan, Data Science Director at Wunderman Thompson.

We’re increasingly dependent on algorithms in a variety of areas. This has led to problems with algorithmic bias, in which statistical and econometric models or a programmed set of instructions systematically treats members of some groups differently than others. This can be due to the unconscious biases of engineers who build the models, biases in the data they are trained on, biases inherent in the models themselves or algorithms’ treatment of human attributes as single, isolated components rather than intersectional identities. We look at the ways in which models, programs, and algorithms in the media, marketing, and advertising industries can unintentionally favor majority populations and ignore or even discriminate against minority segments and how to overcome this problem.

CultureConnect Podcast Series: Episode #5: Contending with Algorithmic Bias pt 2

June 17, 2022 — Episode #5: Contending with Algorithmic Bias pt 2 , A conversation with, Kalinda Ukanwa, an Assistant Professor of Marketing at USC’s Marshall School of Business. Amanda Bower, a machine learning researcher at Twitter.

Technology is an essential part of our everyday life. We rely on it to help us navigate our finance, employment, housing, health care and purchases, among other things. But, perhaps unknowingly, we may be impacted by algorithmic bias, in which systematic repeatable errors in AI treat members of some groups differently than others. In part two of our look at algorithmic bias, we delve further into what consumers and companies can do about it.

Video Games, Livestreams, and Community: Understanding the Experiences of Diverse Gamers

On September 13, 2022, experts from Twitch, sparks & honey and MediaCom U.S. discussed the triumphs and challenges diverse communities in gaming are facing today. Although diversity in gaming has seen improvements in recent years, there is still work to be done. This event explored the role advertisers can play in making gaming and livestreaming even more inclusive. Panelists shared what brands can do to make a meaningful impact.

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The ARF Diversity Report

The newly published ARF Diversity Report is a comprehensive summary of research on the state of diversity in the marketing industry, and how diversity affects company and marketing campaign performance.

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The ARF Diversity Report


The 2020 US census revealed that the United States is far more diverse and multiracial today than ever before in its history. Approximately 38% of the population belong to racial minority groups. The trend is expected to continue, which has resulted in companies increasing their focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), both internally and in their marketing efforts. In order to inform member companies of where we are as an industry, as well as to offer best practices and actionable insights in their own DEI efforts, the ARF has put together The Diversity Report. The report is available for purchase, as a fundraising effort to support ARF WIDE.

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How to Use Genders in Advertising

Casey Hobgood, Associate Strategy Director at We Are Social US, argues that “…brands are still failing to address the whole spectrum of gender identities in their market research, campaigns and products.”

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Overcoming the Diversity Gap in Mobile Gaming

The gaming team at Meta launched an initiative to better understand the perspectives of underrepresented gamers in order to share the importance of diversity with the mobile gaming industry. Their findings, Stephen Gray (Meta) pointed out, are just as applicable to advertisers outside the gaming industry. With gaming now, the world’s most dominant form of entertainment, Chloé Gingrich (Meta) noted that the gamers population is more diverse than ever before, encompassing a spectrum of ethnicities, genders, ages, sexual orientations and abilities. Their study used a combined qualitative/quantitative approach that looked at three gaming communities—ethnicities, LGBTQ+, women/non-binary gamers—in five markets (U.S., U.K., Brazil, Germany, & South Korea). With their research findings, the team explored three key themes: how inclusive environments help drive player engagement, key considerations for fostering diversity and inclusion within games and the gaming community, and the importance of authentic advertising.

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Interpreting Survey Responses

Data from a recent Gallup survey remind us that responses from survey participants need to be interpreted carefully, as they are impacted by culture and respondents’ willingness to talk about certain topics. Case in point: Reported identification as LGBT appears less related to actual sexual orientation than to age.

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