‘Are we THAT fragile?’: TV viewers rage about living in a ‘nanny state’ after VW and Philadelphia ads are banned for pushing ‘harmful gender stereotypes’ – despite only FOUR complaints
- Volkswagen and Philadelphia ads first banned under gender stereotyping rules
- Came after only few complaints: three protested at car ad, one against cheese
- ASA said Volkswagen caused showed men in activities but woman in a ‘care’ role
- Philadelphia’s ad was said to brand men incapable of caring for their children
Britons hit back at the advertising watchdog today for running a ‘nanny state’ after two adverts were banned under new gender stereotyping rules.
The ads for Volkswagen and Philadelphia cheese suggested women focus on caring for their family while men are motivated by a sense of adventure.
The move to ban them came after only three people protested at the Volkswagen electric car advert and just one objected to Philadelphia’s commercial.
The adverts for Volkswagen and Philadelphia cheese (pictured) are the first to be banned under new rules to prevent ‘harmful’ gender stereotyping
Social media users said they were ‘utterly dumbfounded’ and complained how the UK had ‘gone bloody mad’, while one asked: ‘Really? Are we that fragile.’
Another tweeted: ‘Are we now a genderless society in case someone out there is ‘offended’?’ – while another said: ‘Fed up of this nanny state.’
A further Twitter user said: ‘Seriously, f*** off, who is funding these non fit for purpose bodies? You are I (i.e. taxpayer) most likely. Get rid immediately.’
The Advertising Standards Authority said Volkswagen caused offence by showing men in adventurous activities in contrast to a woman in a ‘care-giving’ role.
The move came after only a tiny number of complaints – three people protested at the Volkswagen electric car advert (pictured) and only one objected to Philadelphia’s commercial
The VW eGolf advert begins with male and female climbers asleep in a tent. In successive scenes, two male astronauts are shown floating in a spaceship (pictured), followed by a male athlete with a prosthetic leg doing the long jump
Meanwhile, the offending Philadelphia advertisement depicts two men looking after new babies when one of them leaves his on a conveyor belt (pictured)
Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s ‘humorous’ advert – in which a father eats ‘delicious’ cheese while his baby rides on a conveyor belt in a restaurant – was said to brand men incapable of caring for children.
Anger over ‘shocking interview’ by John Humphrys over ads
Radio presenter John Humphrys has sparked controversy with comments about women looking after babies.
The 75-year-old co-host of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme was discussing TV adverts being banned under new gender stereotyping rules.
OInterviewing Jessica Tye of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Humphrys said: ‘A woman looking after a baby is, by any estimate, a very, very good and desirable thing for society.
‘And by and large, and this is – maybe I will be attacked for this – but by and large they do a better job of it than men, at least in most of our experience, I would have thought.’
He added: ‘To whom is it causing harm if you show a woman sitting next to a baby in a pram? Lots of women sit next to babies in prams. How does this sort of advertising harm people?’
When Ms Tye said advertising could influence aspirations and career choices, Humphrys replied: ‘You mean if a girl sees a mother… sitting in a park with a baby in a pram (in an advert) she might think, ‘I don’t want to be an astronaut, I want to be ‘just’ a caregiver’. And I put the word ‘just’ in inverted commas because there’s nothing wrong with being a caregiver.’
Some listeners were not impressed.
Helen Stevens tweeted: ‘What a shocking interview by John Humphrys re gender stereotyping in adverts. His attitudes serve to illustrate why this type of advertising continues to exist.’
Mike Richards added: ‘John Humphrys doing his level best to sound like he belongs in a different century this morning.
The ASA upheld the complaints and found the ads in breach of new rules regarding ‘harm and offence’ introduced two months ago.
The VW eGolf advert begins with male and female climbers asleep in a tent.
In successive scenes, two male astronauts are shown floating in a spaceship, followed by a male athlete with a prosthetic leg doing the long jump.
The final scene shows a woman sitting on a bench next to a pram.
Three people complained that the ad ‘perpetuated harmful gender stereotypes’.
But Volkswagen bosses claimed the ‘core message’ centred on the ‘ability of the human spirit to adapt to challenges and change’.
They said the fact the female climber was asleep ‘could be said to demonstrate not that she was passive, but that she was relaxed and comfortable in a hostile environment’.
Meanwhile, the offending Philadelphia advertisement depicts two men looking after new babies when one of them leaves his on a conveyor belt.
One person complained to the ASA that the ad ‘perpetuated a harmful stereotype’ by suggesting men were ‘incapable of caring for children’ and ‘would place them at risk as a result of their incompetence’.
Mondelez UK, the maker of Philadelphia, said the ad was intended to highlight the product’s appeal by showing a ‘humorous’ situation where the gender roles could be reversed.
The ASA’s new rules state ‘advertisements must not include gender stereotypes likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence’.
Both the offending adverts were broadcast on June 14, the day the new rules came into force.
How some of Britain’s most loved ads of yesteryear could fall foul of new gender stereotyping rules
Some of the most famous adverts to have aired on British TV look very out-of-date now, and would almost certainly fall foul of gender stereotyping rules.
While classic ads for the likes of Diet Coke and Levi jeans showed women ogling men, others suggested a product was just for men – such as Yorkie.
Here, MailOnline looks back at a series of adverts which are unlikely to make it onto our screens today.
Coca-Cola released a series of adverts in the 1990s showing women in an office rushing to watch a topless construction worker drink a can of Diet Coke.
The jeans manufacturer released a famous advert in the 1980s featuring a hunky man washing his jeans in a laundrette as women excitedly watched on.
One of Bisto’s adverts from 1984 featured two men talking over a garden fence, while a woman indoors cooks a roast dinner with Bisto Gravy.
The 1970s advert saw a mother telling her daughter the bubbles are ‘mild’, which ‘helps to keep my hands soft, even though I wash up four times a day’.
Yorkie chocolate bars used the infamous ‘It’s not for girls’ slogan for about a decade from 2001. One of its ads at the time featured a woman dressing up as a man and talking about the offside rule to convince a shopkeeper she is male.
Lynx became known for adverts showing how their deodorant could make men more attractive, including one clip where bikini-clad women run towards a man on a beach. The company has since launched deodorants for women.