Ads That Perpetuate Gender Stereotypes Will Be Banned

The UK's Advertising Standards Agency are proposing new regulations that would ban ads that perpetuate gender stereotypes.

The new rules would put a stop to advertisements that portray activities as being specific to one gender and others that mock people for not conforming to those stereotypes.

The report defines some of these stereotypes as:

  • Ads which depict family members making a mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up

  • Ads that suggest "a specific activity is inappropriate for boys because it's stereotypically associated with girls, or vice-versa" and

  • Ads featuring men "trying and failing" to conduct "simple parental or household tasks." 

Chief Executive of the ASA, Guy Parker, says there are six different types of gender stereotyping in ads; occupations or positions, attributes or behaviors associated with specific genders as well as making fun of those who behave or look in a "non-stereotypical" manner.

Sexualisation and objectifying are also identified as gender stereotyping.

"Portrayals which reinforce outdated and stereotypical views on gender roles in society can play their part in driving unfair outcomes for people. While advertising is only one of many factors that contribute to unequal gender outcomes, tougher advertising standards can play an important role in tackling inequalities and improving outcomes for individuals, the economy and society as a whole." 

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