Advertisers still debate the best ways to market to women. Media firms are still trying to find the ideal forums to entertain and inform this gender. And companies in these industries, like many others, have a lack of women in top positions.
There are still controversial, even sexist, communications being produced, such as a recent JWT India print ad for Ford that caricatured Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, grinning at three young women bound and gagged in the back of a Ford Figo. And Swiffer just felt a big backlash when it re-imagined Rosie the Riveter, an icon for strong working women, out of the factory and back in her housekeeping role with a steam cleaner in her hands.
How to address such problems is a hot topic at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the ad world's trade show and awards event.
Many large companies are using the festival as a forum to discuss how to bolster communications to and about women, as well as how to help them climb the corporate ranks.
AOL held two events focused on women. On Sunday, it hosted a panel that looked at women's accomplishments and hurdles. Activist Gloria Steinem spoke. On Monday, it co-hosted with Omnicom Group, an advertising holding company, a panel about communicating with diverse consumer groups. A focus of that event was marketing to women.
On Tuesday, AOL will announce an expansion of its Makers initiative, which uses video to tell the stories of famous women such as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, as well as lesser-known female pioneers such as Barbara Burns, one of the first female coal miners.
In February, AOL will host a women's empowerment conference in Southern California. Participants will include high-profile people who have been featured on Makers videos, including Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and...