Product Development, Advertising,
Use of Products & Services

Use or promotion of discrimination in advertising or marketing campaign


It is a fundamental human right to be treated equally and without discrimination based on an identifying feature, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political opinion or social status. Businesses must not use or endorse advertising or marketing campaigns that contain discriminatory language or images regarding any identifying feature. Businesses should take affirmative action to reduce discrimination by ensuring diversity in advertising and marketing campaigns.


Marketing materials can have a significant impact, especially when they are widely disseminated electronically and on social media. In developing and implementing advertising and marketing campaigns, businesses should use respectful and inclusive language and must not promote ideas that could incite hostility and intolerance towards people or groups with certain identifying features. Businesses should try to promote tolerance and diversity and should avoid the use of stereotypes that could be the source of intolerance.


Businesses should develop clear social media content guidelines and policies and ensure employees receive training on the appropriate use of marketing and media platforms. Businesses can seek to reduce unconscious bias through acknowledgement and education.

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Articles 1, 2 and 7
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, Articles 2, 16 and 26
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966, Article 2(2)
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1963, Article 4
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979,
Article 5
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2006, Article 8



SDG 5.1

Preventing the use of discriminatory language in advertising and marketing campaigns helps to support SDG 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

SDG 10


SDG 10.2

Making efforts to use non-discriminatory language in advertising and marketing campaigns helps to achieve SDG 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status