P&G’s New Spot Zeroes In on Navigating Anti-LGBTQ Bias

In 'The Pause,' participants discuss the calculations they make when meeting new people

a black woman with curly hair on a dark green background
Procter & Gamble's new spot demonstrates how LGBTQ people navigate bias. Procter & Gamble
Headshot of Kathryn Lundstrom

Continuing a series of ads that poignantly addresses bias, Procter & Gamble zeroed in on the calculations that LGBTQ people have to make when meeting someone new: Will this person be accepting, or should I conceal part of myself?

In the new 60-second spot called “The Pause” from Grey New York, members of the LGBTQ community share their thought processes in those situations. This includes whether to refer to a partner of 37 years as a roommate or how to present oneself at airport security checkpoints to deter discriminatory treatment. “It’s nonstop,” said one participant.

As the spot ends, the screen reads, “When love surrounds, there is no pause.”

Procter & Gamble

The campaign “is about creating an atmosphere of kindness and acceptance around you,” said Justine Armour, chief creative officer of Grey New York.

Armour added that during the course of making the ad, one of the agency’s team members shared that while she’s been out to her family for two decades, “she still comes out every day to somebody, never really knowing if it’s safe to disclose her full self.”

“It was an eye-opening and pretty heartbreaking revelation for those of us on the team who don’t need to negotiate the world like that,” she continued.

The accompanying webpage for the campaign outlines the ways that P&G is supporting the LGBTQ community during Pride Month this year, in addition to some of the work that the company has done over the last several decades. It also provides resources to visitors on how to educate oneself on anti-LGBTQ discrimination and where to donate to support the community.

“The Pause” is the latest in a series of ads P&G created over the last few years that call out bias and discrimination against marginalized groups, mostly focused on race.

In 2018, the CPG giant released “The Talk,” which highlighted the conversations Black parents have to have with their children about how to protect themselves against systemic racism. Last year’s “The Look” illustrated the explicit and implicit bias that Black men have to face on a daily basis. “The Choice,” released earlier this month, implores white Americans to use their power to actively work against racist systems.

Chief brand officer Marc Pritchard has long been vocal about including diverse representation in advertising. In March, P&G released a study in partnership with media advocacy group GLAAD, which showed how LGBTQ media representation can lead to more acceptance of LGBTQ people from consumers.

@klundster kathryn.lundstrom@adweek.com Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.