Australian TV is a white-washed mess, according to a new study.

More than three out of every four TV ads (77%) feature all white casts, 14% of TV ads star a Caucasian and one other ethnic actor, and just 3% feature no Caucasian talent at all.

The lack of cultural diversity on Australia’s small screen has been highlighted in a recent study assessing SBS, Seven, Nine and Ten.

Marketing and media consultancy firm Ebiquity, in partnership with SBS, assessed 4,156 ads between February and June this year on the four channels.

The study assessed 2,150,159 ad spots over the period – that’s 2,150,159 opportunities to represent Australia’s cultural diversity.

In fact, of the 23.4 million people who live in Australia, 6.2 million of them were born overseas, 10.6 million have one or more parents who were born overseas, and 4.9 million speak another language other than English at home.

A similar study to Ebiquity’s was carried out in 2013 and since then (wait for it…) representation of ethnicities other than Caucasian have seen a measly 4% increase.

“Our industry is moving at a snail’s pace when it comes to showing diversity on our screens,” said SBS director of media sales Andrew Cook. “At this rate of change, it will take another 100 years before we see only half of all ads on TV reflect Australia’s diverse population. There is no doubt we need to speed up this change.”

Naturally, the study was carried out to show how SBS can help brands target specific ethnic communities. But they also highlighted which brands had the most ethnically diverse casts in their commercials too. Holden, KFC, Telstra and Coles: you need to do better.

Source: Ebiquity Ad Monitoring

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