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Today the ASA published its report into gender stereotypes in advertising. It is the product of a lengthy project to test whether the UK Advertising Codes and the ASA’s enforcement of them take proper account of the relevant evidence base.
The 'Depictions, Perceptions and Harm' report finds that ads that feature gender stereotypes have potential to cause harm by contributing to unequal gender outcomes although it recognises that advertising is only one of many different facts that contribute to unequal gender outcomes.
Find out more on the ASA website.
The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) will develop new standards on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles or characteristics. The ASA will then administer and enforce those standards. CAP will also use the evidence in the report to clarify standards that reflect the ASA’s existing position on ads that objectify or inappropriately sexualise women and girls, and ads that suggest it is acceptable for young women to be unhealthily-thin.
CAP will report publicly on its progress before the end of this year and has committed to delivering training and advice on the new standards in good time before they come into force in 2018, although it is not clear exactly when next year this will be.
We recognise that unequal gender outcomes are harmful and arise out of a complex series of social, political and economic factors including stereotyping. It is good to see the ASA taking a proactive position on this important issue - one which many of our members are already addressing.
We hope and expect that the standards that CAP issues are clear, consistent and proportionate, taking into account the significant element of subjectivity in this area.
ACTION FOR ISBA
For more information on the above, please contact me.
Director of Communications, ISBA
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