Beyond the Rainbow: An investigation into LGBTQ+ marketing and its future

Beyond the Rainbow report cover

Beyond the Rainbow: An investigation into LGBTQ+ marketing and its future

Exploring the now and next of identity, media and communications for LGBTQ+ communities, and its impact for brands

There's no one way to be queer. WPP's Beyond the Rainbow study traces the fluid nature of modern sexuality and gender identity as LGBTQ+ visibility expands within cultural and commercial spaces.

Spearheaded by an all-queer team from WPP Unite, WPP’s global LGBTQ+ community, with representation from BCW, Choreograph, Hill+Knowlton, Hogarth, Landor & Fitch, Essence Mediacom, The&Partnership, VMLY&R and Wavemaker, the study releases insightful new data calling for more authentic representation of LGBTQ+ identities in advertising, the need for long-term support beyond Pride Month and the role of queer media in culture and brand communications.

In partnership with the Human Rights Campaign, UK Black Pride, DIVA, and myGwork, Beyond the Rainbow was created with WPP's in-house data resource, Choreograph, surveying more than 7,000 LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ respondents across the U.S., UK, and Canada.

Key highlights:

  • Among young people, queer media has become truly mainstream: 93% of LGBTQ+ 18–24s and 85% of non-LGBTQ+ 18–24s actively seek out queer media, proving its universal appeal
  • Despite widespread appeal, the quality and quantity of queer media needs improvement: Just 38% of those who seek out queer content are satisfied with the way LGBTQ+ people are represented, and 2 out of 3 LGBTQ+ people want to see more queer representation
  • More than half of LGBTQ+ people are still not completely out at work: Only 40% are completely open about their sexuality with colleagues, while 50% are open about their gender identity
  • There’s an income gap when it comes to being out at work: Those on the highest incomes were 37% more likely to be completely open at work than those on the lowest incomes
  • The annual change of logo may be where communications start, but shouldn’t end: 52% of LGBTQ+ people told us that they do like it when brands change their logos to the rainbow flag colours during Pride month. However, there’s a clear desire for more year-round support, as 3 out of 4 LGBTQ+ people and half of non- LGBTQ+ people think brands should do more to support LGBTQ+ people outside Pride month

Email: [email protected]


About WPP Unite

WPP Unite is the LGBTQ+ community living across WPP’s network of 100,000+ people worldwide. We are focused on driving insightful and authentic representation of LGBTQ+ people within media and promoting greater inclusion of LGBTQ+ people within the work and workplaces of the marketing and communications industry. For more information, visit

Unite Team in Pride in London campaign