Watchdog cracks the whip
TRADITIONAL portrayals of housewives are to be banned from advertisements in a crackdown on sexist stereotypes by watchdogs.
Depictions of women being solely responsible for cooking, cleaning and childcare in commercials will disappear.
But at the same time, it will become wrong to suggest only men are capable of doing DIY or are useless when it comes to chores and caring for babies.
The changes come from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which argues that these stereotypes are limiting the aspirations of both women and men.
The ASA will also crack down on images that appear to sexualise women or suggest it is acceptable for them to be unhealthily thin. The watchdog said: “A tougher line is needed on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles or characteristics which can potentially cause harm.”
Consumer goods giant Unilever has already blocked the depiction of women as sex objects under a policy it calls ‘Unstereotype’. In the past, its Knorr TV adverts used to show a mother and daughter in the kitchen, but they now feature a father and son. Guy Parker, the ASA’s chief executive, said: “Portrayals which reinforce outdated and stereotypical views on gender roles can play their part in driving unfair outcomes. Tougher advertising standards can play an important role in tackling inequalities.”