Consumer Perceptions of Inclusive Marketing

A look at how consumers view and respond to brands’ efforts to promote diversity and inclusion through advertising.
January 2024
Chart Pack

Report summary

Consumers widely embrace inclusive marketing but aren’t driven to action by it.

Inclusion-focused advertising came under the spotlight in 2023 after conservative media outlets called boycotts against several major brands for featuring diverse talent (human or animated) in their marketing materials.

The 2024 presidential election cycle will likely only intensify these narratives, making it more crucial than ever for brands to understand all facets of consumer expectations about their involvement in diversity, equity and inclusion conversations.

New Morning Consult data shows that while U.S. adults generally feel positive toward inclusive marketing, most consumers aren’t compelled to make purchases in direct response to the practice. However, engagement on specific DEI topics can garner brands meaningful goodwill with specific audiences.

Key Takeaways

  • Half of U.S. adults think brands have a duty to speak out on political, societal or cultural issues.
  • Workforce diversity, women’s rights and racism in America are the inclusion-related issues most consumers want to hear about from brands.
  • Despite negative headlines over the past year, just 13% of U.S. adults say brands should not engage in inclusive marketing at all.
  • While they take a back seat to other purchase factors, ads promoting inclusivity can be a motivator for some — especially Gen Z adults.


Morning Consult data featured in this report draws from quarterly surveys conducted from September 2023 to December 2023 among roughly 2,200 U.S. adults per quarter.

All survey interviews were conducted online, and the data was weighted to approximate populations of adults based on age, gender, race, educational attainment, region, gender by age and race by educational attainment. Top-line results from the surveys have a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

About the author

A headshot photograph of Ellyn Briggs
Ellyn Briggs
Brands Analyst

Ellyn Briggs is a brands analyst on the Industry Intelligence team, where she conducts research, authors analyst notes and advises brand and marketing leaders on how to apply insights to make better business decisions. Prior to joining Morning Consult, Ellyn worked as a market researcher and brand strategist in both agency and in-house settings. She graduated from American University with a bachelor’s degree in finance. For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected].