A piece in today’s Times by Andrew Ellson, Consumer Affairs Correspondent:
Advertisements that perpetuate gender stereotypes, such as men struggling with household chores or women being less able to park, will be banned from next year.
The advertising watchdog has confirmed that from June adverts must not include gender stereotypes likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence, the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) has said.
The watchdog said that adverts likely to be banned under the new rules would include depictions of men struggling to change a nappy.
Adverts may also be banned if they belittle men or boys for carrying out stereotypically female roles or tasks. Anything implying that boys should not play with fairies or dress up as princesses, for example, would fall foul of the new rule. [J4MB emphasis.]
It follows a review that found some campaigns could reinforce stereotypes that restrict people’s choices, aspirations and opportunities.
However, the review concluded that gender stereotypes were not always problematic and that the use of seriously offensive or potentially harmful stereotypes in adverts was not endemic.
The watchdog will not, therefore, automatically ban adverts from “depicting a woman cleaning or a man doing DIY”. Context and content will be the key considerations. It said the aim of the rule was to identify specific harm that should be prevented rather than banning gender stereotypes outright.
The Advertising Standards Authority will enforce the code from June 19. It already applies rules on offence and social responsibility to ban adverts that include gender stereotypes on grounds of objectification, inappropriate sexualisation and depiction of unhealthily thin body images.
Ella Smillie, a hatchet-faced passive-aggressive man-hating control freak at the CAP, said: “The evidence we published last year showed that harmful gender stereotypes in ads contribute to how people see themselves and their role in society.
“They can hold some people back from fulfilling their potential, or from aspiring to certain jobs and industries, bringing costs for individuals and the economy.”
Shahriah Coupal, a mangina and director at the CAP, added: “Harmful gender stereotypes have no place in UK advertisements. Nearly all advertisers know this, but for those that don’t, our new rule calls time on stereotypes that hold back people and society.”
The watchdog will carry out a review of the new rule after a year to make sure it is meeting its objective.
We may have added a few words there, but they’re clearly implied.
You can subscribe to The Times here.
If everyone who read this gave us just £3.00 – or even better, £3.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. Click here to make a difference. Thanks.