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UK Outlaws Gender Stereotypes In Advertisements

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Daily Caller
June 21, 2019

Featuring advertisements with gender stereotypes to sell products is outlawed in the United Kingdom as of last week.

“Our evidence shows how harmful gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to inequality in society, with costs for all of us, ” said Guy Parker, chief executive of the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). “Put simply, we found that some portrayals in ads can, over time, play a part in limiting people’s potential. It’s in the interests of women and men, our economy and society that advertisers steer clear of these outdated portrayals, and we’re pleased with how the industry has already begun to respond.”

The ASA issued the ban in December giving companies a six month grace period to adjust to the new regulations. Last week that grace period ended with the ASA issuing a statementoutlining the policy of their gender stereotype ban.

A specific definition as to what constitutes a gender stereotype in advertising was not provided by the ASA. Instead they state in broad terms, “Advertisements must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.”

Individual examples where gender stereotyping would be forbidden included the following:

  • “An ad that depicts a man with his feet up and family members creating mess around a home while a woman is solely responsible for cleaning up the mess.
  • An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender e.g. a man’s inability to change nappies; a woman’s inability to park a car.
  • Where an ad features a person with a physique that does not match an ideal stereotypically associated with their gender, the ad should not imply that their physique is a significant reason for them not being successful, for example in their romantic or social lives.
  • An ad that seeks to emphasise the contrast between a boy’s stereotypical personality (e.g. daring) with a girl’s stereotypical personality (e.g. caring) needs to be handled with care.
  • An ad aimed at new mums which suggests that looking attractive or keeping a home pristine is a priority over other factors such as their emotional wellbeing.
  • An ad that belittles a man for carrying out stereotypically ‘female’ roles or tasks.”

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This article was posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 at 6:28 am

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