CAP has today launched a public consultation on a new rule to tackle harmful gender stereotypes in ads, as well as on guidance to advertisers on how the new rule is likely to be interpreted in practice.

The proposed new rule to the advertising codes, covering broadcast and non-broadcast is: Advertisements must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence.


In July 2017 the ASA published “Depictions, Perceptions and Harm”– which examined the potential effect of gender stereotypes depicted in advertising. Following the report, CAP and BCAP undertook to develop a new rule and guidance on ads that depict gender stereotypes. In 2017, through ISBA’s role on CAP and BCAP, members most likely to be impacted by the rules attended the pre-consultation workshops to share their views on the proposed text before it went to public consultation.

Next Steps

The consultation can be seen here alongside the press release released today. The consultation closes on 26 July 2018 and advertisers are invited to respond via the online form to CAP with supporting information. In particular:

  1. Do you agree with CAP & BCAP’s proposal to introduce a new rule and supporting guidance into the Advertising Codes? Please include relevant evidence to support your view, whether you agree or disagree with the proposals.
  2. Do you agree with the wording of the proposed new CAP and BCAP rules? If not please include suggestions for how the proposed rules could be improved to achieve
    the aims set out in this consultation.
  3. Do you consider the draft guidance to be clear and practical? If not please include suggestions for how it could be improved to achieve the aims set out in this

If you would like to discuss the consultation in more detail, please contact James Barge, ISBA’s Director of Public Affairs. Find out more on the ASA website.

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Written 17th May 2018
By Jane Salliss