This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here

NEWS18 July 2017

ASA to tackle gender stereotyping in advertising

Legal News Trends UK

UK – The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) have published a major review into gender stereotyping in advertising, which may lead to stronger regulation of ads. 

The report, Depictions, Perceptions and Harm, presents evidence that supports the ASA’s history of banning ads that objectify or inappropriately sexualise women and girls, and ads that suggest it is acceptable for young women to be unhealthily thin. 

But, says the report, the evidence also suggests that a tougher line needs to be taken on ‘ads that feature stereotypical gender roles or characteristics which, through their content and context, may be potentially harmful to people. This includes ads that mock people for not conforming to gender stereotypes'.

For example, it would ‘inappropriate and unrealistic’ to prevent ads from depicting a woman cleaning, the report says, but new standards on gender stereotypes might elaborate on the types of treatments that might be problematic, such as an ad that depicts family members creating mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up; an ad that suggests an activity is inappropriate for a girl because it is stereotypically associated with boys or vice versa; or an ad that features a man trying and failing to undertake simple parental or household tasks.

As a result of the report, CAP will develop new standards on ads that feature these stereotypical gender roles or characteristics, as well as clarifying standards that reflect the ASA’s existing regulatory position on ads that objectify or inappropriately sexualise women and girls, and ads that suggest it is acceptable for young women to be unhealthily thin. 

CAP will report publicly on its progress before the end of 2017.

"We found that gender stereotypes emerge and can be reinforced in a wide range of ways, and although the vast majority of ads do not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, some do," said Ella Smillie, project lead and regulatory policy executive at CAP. "Making assumptions about how people should look and behave might negatively restrict how they see themselves and how others see them, and limit choices they make in life.

"While we recognise that advertising is only one factor in the wider context of the reinforcement of gender stereotypes, we’re keen that we play our role to address ads that have the potential to harm."

@RESEARCH LIVE

0 Comments