Adverts with ‘harmful gender stereotyping’ such as mothers doing the dishes and fathers struggling with nappies will be BANNED
- Advertisements showing women cleaning up are now banned under new rules
- New regulations on gender stereotypes in advertising came into force today
- This means advertisers will have to tread carefully when depicting gender roles
Adverts which show men struggling with household chores are now banned under new gender stereotype rules.
Scenarios likely to be problematic under the new rule include a man with his feet up while a woman cleans up her family’s mess or a woman unable to park a car.
Advertisements must not include gender stereotypes which are likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence from today.
Adverts which show men struggling with household chores are now banned under new gender stereotype rules. The advertising industry has had six months to prepare for the rule, and the ASA will now deal with any complaints it receives on a case-by-case basis [File photo]
Advertisers will also have to tread carefully when, for example, contrasting a daring boy with a caring girl, or if they belittle a man for carrying out stereotypically ‘female’ roles or tasks, the Committee of Advertising Practice warned.
The rule follows a review which found that some campaigns could reinforce harmful stereotypes, and in turn could restrict people’s choices, aspirations and opportunities.
It will not veto all forms of gender stereotypes, with the review falling short of calling for a ban on ads depicting scenarios such as a woman cleaning or a man doing DIY tasks.
Aptamil baby milk caused controversy in 2017 by showing a girl growing up to become a ballerina and a boy becoming a rock climber. Scenarios likely to be problematic under the new rule include a man with his feet up while a woman cleans up her family’s mess or a woman unable to park a car
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) already applies rules on offence and social responsibility to ban ads which include gender stereotypes on grounds of objectification, inappropriate sexualisation, and depiction of unhealthily thin body images.
The Committee of Advertising Practice said the evidence from the review did not show that gender stereotypes were always problematic or that the use of seriously offensive or potentially harmful stereotypes in advertising was endemic.
It said the aim of the new rule was therefore to identify specific harm that should be prevented, rather than banning gender stereotypes outright.
Asda’s Christmas advert from 2012 offering that showed an exhausted mum struggling to buy the presents and tree. The rule follows a review which found that some campaigns could reinforce harmful stereotypes, and in turn could restrict people’s choices, aspirations and opportunities
The advertising industry has had six months to prepare for the rule, and the ASA will now deal with any complaints it receives on a case-by-case basis.
ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: ‘Our evidence shows how harmful gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to inequality in society, with costs for all of us. 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.’
Advertising Association chief executive Stephen Woodford said: ‘Advertising at its best should be a positive and progressive force in society.
‘The new rule on tackling harmful gender stereotypes in adverts from the Committees of Advertising Practice is an important addition to the expectations we all have for responsible advertising.’
Unilever changed its Lynx deodorant commercials which, in the past, featured women in bikinis hunting down young men [File photo]