Gender Stereotypes have been banned from British Advertising by the Advertising Standards Authority. Advertisements which are likely to cause harm, serious or widespread offense.
This is a topic which I raised at our termly Digital Marketing Convention, a topic which caused a lot of discussion, so I was keen to publish it here.
The report (Vox, 2019) discusses it as marketing which stereotypes people, promotes unhealthy thin models and results from a “general public of unease about the harmful effects of advertising particularly on children”
Images such as these:
Source (Vox, 2019)
These images portray that a man cannot change a babies nappy and women are expected to do domestic duties. As we live in a world of equality where these tasks are equal. Some good discussion points which I had with the students were “Do we really live in a world of equality?” “Are we trying to portray an idealistic image of what we’d like in the world?” “Is it the advertising agency’s responsibly to portray equality?”
And it was only 40-50 years ago since we were seeing adverts like this:
Due to this new standard, this Philadelphia advert was one of the first to get banned. Complainants said the tongue-in-cheek ad perpetuated a harmful stereotype suggesting men were incapable of caring for children and would put them at risk as a result of their incompetence. The ASA banned the ad, saying it reinforced the idea that men were ineffective childcarers. (The Guardian, 2019)
Another advert to get banned under this new standard is this VW advert. Complainants said the ad showed men engaged in adventurous activities, that unlike her male counterpart, the female rock climber was “passive” because she was asleep, and that the woman with the pram was depicted in a stereotypical care-giving role. The ASA, “concluded that the ad presented gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm”. (The Guardian, 2019)
Under the new rules adverts cannot show:
- Men or women “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”)
- Stereotypical personality traits” for boys and girls,
- Suggest that new mothers “should prioritise their looks or home cleanliness over their emotional health.”
When does Gender become Stereotyped?
I thought this viral video from Always was an excellent way to answer this question and a child’s perception and changed in teenage years based on other people’s influence and advertising.
When will New Zealand be affected?
The answer is no time soon, so we will still see Mitre 10 adverts like these! Whether we agree with them or not! Some important things to note:
Does Gender have a place in Digital Advertising?
Additional reading & sources
Author: Emily Cordwell