New advertising standards are being developed to target ads that feature stereotypical gender roles and “mock people for not conforming”.
A study by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), published on Tuesday (July 18), said a “tougher line” was needed on ads concerning gender stereotypes.
Report leader Ella Smillie said: “Our review shows that specific forms of gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to harm for adults and children. Such portrayals can limit how people see themselves, how others see them, and limit the life decisions they take.”
She added: ”Tougher standards in the areas we’ve identified will address harms and ensure that modern society is better represented.”
The study found: “Overall, young children appear to be in particular need of protection from harmful stereotypes as they are more likely to internalise the messages they see.
“However, there is also significant evidence of potential harm for adults in reinforcing already internalised messages about how they should behave and look on account of their gender.”
The new standards, which the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) – the authors of the UK Advertising Codes – have been tasked with developing, are “not intended to ban all forms of gender stereotypes” the ASA said.
The report does not call for a ban on all ads depicting a woman cleaning or a man doing DIY tasks, but detailed what types of adverts crossed the line.
The ASA, who will enforce the rules, noted in the report that ads that feature “gender stereotypical roles or characters are unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to their audience”.
Ads likely to breach the new standards will include:
An ad which depicts family members creating a mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up.
An ad that suggests a specific activity is inappropriate for boys because it is stereotypically associated with girls, or vice-versa.
An ad that features a man trying and failing to undertake simple parental or household tasks.
The ASA often bans ads on the grounds of objectification, inappropriate sexualisation and for suggesting it is desirable for young women to be unhealthily thin.
The CAP will now use evidence from the report to “clarify standards that reflect the ASA’s existing 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 announcement comes after a major review into gender stereotyping in ads which showed that “harmful stereotypes can restrict the choices, aspirations …
Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Lifestyle