Gender stereotypes banned from adverts

A new rule in the Advertising Codes, which will apply to broadcast and non-broadcast media (including online and social media), banning harmful gender stereotypes in adverts has come into force.

The change follows a review of gender stereotyping in ads by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) – the body that administers the UK Advertising Codes. The review found evidence suggesting that harmful stereotypes can 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.

A key point is that stereotypes should not be used that might cause ‘harm’ but that this does not prevent any gender being depicted doing any task – whether this has a gendered association or not. For example, An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender such a man’s inability to change nappies or a woman’s inability to park a car would be banned, but a woman doing the shopping or a man doing DIY would

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