United Kingdom Bans “Harmful Gender Stereotypes”
A ban on adverts featuring “harmful gender stereotypes” or those which are likely to cause “serious or widespread offence” has come into force.
The ban covers scenarios such as a man with his feet up while a woman cleans, or a woman failing to park a car.
The UK’s advertising watchdog introduced the ban because it found some portrayals could play a part in “limiting people’s potential”.
It said it was pleased with how advertisers had responded.
The new rule follows a review of gender stereotyping in adverts by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) – the organisation that administers the UK Advertising Codes, which cover both broadcast and non-broadcast adverts, including online and social media.
The ASA said the review had found evidence suggesting that harmful stereotypes could “restrict the choices, aspirations and opportunities of children, young people and adults and these stereotypes can be reinforced by some advertising, which plays a part in unequal gender outcomes”.
“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,” said ASA chief executive Guy Parker.
Blogger and father of two Jim Coulson thinks the ban is a good idea. He dislikes adverts that perpetuate stereotypes about dads being “useless”.
“It’s the small things though that build up, and the small things are what inform the subconscious,” he told the BBC.
“That’s the problem… that adverts rely on stereotypes. We know why they do it, because it’s easy. “
But columnist Angela Epstein disagrees, and thinks that society has become “over-sensitive”.
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[Editor’s Note: This article was written and originally published at BBC News. Title changed by P&P.]