Advertisements perpetuating gender stereotypes by mocking people for not conforming to established norms might become a thing of the past now. Such advertisements, according to Britain’s advertising watchdog, have an adverse impact on children’s minds since it compels them to limit their aspirations.
“Portrayals which reinforce outdated and stereotypical views on gender roles in society can have a harmful impact,” – Guy Parker
Buttressing the need for such a measure, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that advertisements that show families creating a mess while the woman is cleaning it up will be banished. Besides this, ads that show men’s inability to perform simple household tasks will also not be entertained.
Young children should be particularly protected from harmful stereotypes as they are more prone to social conditioning and are likely to internalise messages they see around them which can limit their potential, it added.
ASA, however, clarified that it is not demanding a ban on ads depicting a woman cleaning or a man doing DIY. “Portrayals which reinforce outdated and stereotypical views on gender roles in society can have a harmful impact,” said ASA Chief Executive Guy Parker.
“While advertising is only one factor in a wider debate, tougher advertising standards can play an important role in tackling inequalities to the benefit of individuals, the economy and society as a whole.”
The crusade to bring an end to such ads started after an ad featured an image of a pre-school boy, labelled “the little scholar”, wearing a T-shirt with Albert Einstein’s face on it, next to a girl wearing sparkly cats ears labelled “the social butterfly”.
While for the boy, the ad stated “your future starts here”, the girl’s clothes were tagged as “the talk of the playground”.