Subliminal effects

Britain to ban all ads that objectify women or promote gender stereotypes


Britain’s advertising regulator announced on Tuesday that new rules are under development to ban advertisements that promote gender stereotypes, sexually objectify women, or promote an unhealthy body image. The report issued by the Advertising Standards Authority, titled “Depictions, Perceptions, and Harm,” found that gender stereotypes in ads served to “restrict the choices, aspirations, and opportunities of ad viewers,” and concluded that current rules did too little to prevent advertisers from promoting stereotypes harmful to women.

“Our review shows that specific forms of gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to harm for adults and children,” explained the report’s lead author, Ella Smillie. “Such portrayals can limit how people see themselves, how others see them, and limit the life decisions they take.”

While specifics for the new rules are still in development, the report noted that while showing a woman doing housework like cleaning by herself would be OK under new guidelines, “an ad which depicts family members creating mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up” might be banned. Similarly, ads that show a father “trying and failing to undertake parental or household tasks” might also be banned under the new regulations. What do you think about the measure? Women in the World ran a Twitter poll for 24 hours and more than 5,000, voted. Though the poll is hardly scientific, those who took part overwhelmingly responded that a similar measure should not be adopted in the United States. The poll also elicited a spirited debate among Twitter users who replied to the tweet. Click here to see what people had to say.

Similar laws had already been passed in London and elsewhere in Europe — advertisements in the London Underground, for instance, are banned from causing “pressure to conform to an unrealistic or unhealthy body shape.” Advertisers in Paris have also been banned from showing “sexist and discriminatory ads” in outdoor public spaces. In the U.S., famed advertising executive Madonna Badger has said that her company found objectification of women to be deeply tied to advertising — a realization that ultimately led to a reevaluation of standards at the ad industry’s largest annual event, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Badger appeared onstage at the Women in the World New York Summit in April to discuss the subject. Watch the panel, which also included Queen Latifah, below.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


London Underground bans use of phrase ‘ladies and gentlemen’ in public announcements

‘Socially irresponsible’ Khloe Kardashian dieting ad draws scrutiny in London

Mom condemns ‘sexist’ homework assigned to daughter, rewrites it to reflect modern values

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *