Watchdog to clamp down on gender stereotypes
The advertising watchdog has signalled tougher regulation of campaigns that feature potentially harmful gender stereotypes, such as women cleaning up the family’s mess and men failing to carry out simple household tasks.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said there was evidence to support stronger rules on the basis that harmful stereotypes “can restrict the choices, aspirations and opportunities of children, young people and adults”.
ASA’s report Depictions, Perceptions and Harm said a “tougher line” was needed on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles, including those mocking people for not conforming.
The new standards will not ban all stereotypes, such as women cleaning or a men doing DIY jobs.
But ads that depict scenarios such as a woman having sole responsibility for cleaning up her family’s mess or a man trying and failing to do simple parental or household tasks are likely to be banned, as would a campaign suggesting a specific activity is inappropriate for boys because it is stereotypically associated with girls and vice versa.
The new standards come into force next year.