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BizReport : Advertising : July 18, 2017

UK to get new ad standards addressing gender stereotyping

The Committee of Advertising Practice is drawing up new ad standards to take a tougher line on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles or characteristics.

by Helen Leggatt

A recent report from UK advertising industry watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has found ads that portray stereotypical gender roles and characteristics that, "through their content and context may be potentially harmful to people", need to be addressed.

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) are therefore looking to update their current guidelines to "clarify 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".

The ASA said that there is "significant evidence" that gender inequality "leads to real-world harms for adults and children", include in "practical, social, emotional and economic ways".

Examples deemed "inappropriate" and "unrealistic" include a woman cleaning while the rest of the family make a mess, a man trying and failing to undertake a parental or household task, or an ad that suggests an activity is inappropriate for a girl because it's a male-associated activity.

The CAP will report on its progress publically before the end of this year. The ASA's 64-page report, 'Depictions, Perceptions and Harm: A report on gender stereotypes in advertising' can be found online

Tags: advertising, advertising standards, gender, UK

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