Mattel has announced its latest Barbie career doll, Judge Barbie, and it comes in different skin tones and hairstyles. "The Barbie Judge Doll encourages girls to learn more about making decisions to change the world for the better," Mattel writes, adding that the career dolls aim to close the "dream gap" that forms for some girls as young as age 5.
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Actress Sandra Oh demonstrates how to "travel like a Canadian" in Air Canada's humorous new ad campaign, as she glides through an airport and onto a plane, smoothing rough edges with a bucket of poutine and profuse apologies. Oh, who was born in Ottawa, drops Canadian cultural references, switches smoothly from English to French and makes diverse travelers feel welcome.
The Atlanta Braves halted in-stadium distribution of foam tomahawks and skipped Chop-related music and graphics during a game this week with the St. Louis Cardinals after Cardinals pitcher Ryan Helsley voiced concerns about the practice. Helsley, who is a member of the Cherokee Nation, said the fan chant is disrespectful.
Nearly 70% of Hispanics in a recent poll say they have a high affinity for their original culture and younger members of the community are favoring Latinx as their preferred identifier. "With its combination of Spanish, English and inclusivity, Latinx is reflective of the blending and acceptance that Americans value," writes Angela Rodriguez.
Wunderman Thompson's Christina Mallon writes about her frustration that brands are still ignoring the needs of people with disabilities. "I've seen brands that feature people with disabilities in their ads, even though their products are not accessible for people with disabilities," she writes, adding, "Every touch point along the customer journey should be inclusive."
Earlier this week the Supreme Court refused to review a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, effectively establishing that a company's website and mobile app are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The 1990 ADA required that restaurants, hotels, and retail establishments ensure accessibility for disabled customers. By declining to review the lower court's ruling regarding the inaccessibility of Domino's Pizza online ordering capabilities to blind customers, the Supreme Court has ensured that accessibility law continues to apply to both physical and digital premises.
Understanding that people of a variety of ability levels use the internet for any number of things every day, Chris Danielsen, director of public relations at the National Federation of the Blind, notes that, "The Domino's case is really about whether disabled Americans will be able to fully participate in society, as goods and services are increasingly accessed online."
Understanding that our legal system often lags our technological advancements, this signal is a fantastic example of sparks & honey's new trend Lagging Laws, as we increasingly find ourselves grappling with the intersection of technology and inclusion.
Brands that portrayed the most cultural and demographic groups in ad campaigns saw an average stock increase of 44% in a seven-quarter period, and businesses with the highest diversity scores yielded an 83% higher consumer preference, according to agency Heat research. The study also revealed that while women are portrayed in primary roles, they are often as stereotypical moms or wives, and few ads had LGBTQ+ representation.