Modern Face of Whisky image library launched to challenge 'whisky drinker' stereotypes

Modern Face of Whisky image library launched to challenge 'whisky drinker' stereotypes

Launched by the OurWhisky Foundation, the image library features people of all races, genders, and ages drinking whisky and will be available to media and content creators globally

News | 24 Apr 2023

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Non-profit organisation the OurWhisky Foundation is hoping to aid the portrayal of a more diverse and representative whisky-drinking public through the launch of a new image library.

The Modern Face of Whisky is a globally available, free-of-charge library of unbranded stock images which the foundation says is designed to challenge gender bias and improve the diversity of whisky drinkers portrayed in the media. Depicting people of many races, genders, and ages enjoying a variety of whisky serves, the imagery is available to the media, content creators, and wider industry through the OurWhisky Foundation website and stock imagery platforms Pixabav, Unsplash, and Pexels.

OurWhisky Foundation founder and whisky expert, Becky Paskin, said: “Witnessing the whisky industry uniting to change the face of whisky, and the people who drink it, is inspiring and a much-needed step towards achieving gender equality in the industry. By providing free access to a huge bank of imagery, it is my hope that this will act as a much-needed catalyst for change."

A photo from the Modern Face of Whisky stock image library. Credit: OurWhisky Foundation / Jo Hanley

A 2020 report by the OurWhisky Foundation into how to the world's largest whisky brands represent drinkers across their social media channels found 228 per cent more images of men than women, and that 82 per cent of people-centric posts featured men while only 36 per cent featured women.

Several major players in the whisky industry, including Glenfiddich, Bacardi, Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman, Distill Ventures, The Glenlivet, Whyte & Mackay, Glenmorangie, Diageo, Heaven Hill, and Edrington, have expressed support for the foundation's efforts to more accurately represent today's whisky-drinking public.

The library’s first collection has been created in partnership with world-renowned Australian photographer Jo Hanley, who has produced photographic content for companies including Apple, British Airways, and Rolling Stone.

“I started my photographic career in Scotland where I quickly started shooting lifestyle images for the Scotch whisky industry – it really was love at first sight. However, being a female photographer, it became strikingly obvious that I was often the only woman involved in a project and the images that were being created always had a masculine lean to the art direction," Hanley said. “I became involved with the OurWhisky Foundation and the Modern Face of Whisky project to help evolve the narrative of the whisky drinker and introduce female leads into the whisky story."
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