A ban on adverts that perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes, such as men struggling with household chores or girls being less academic than boys, comes into force on Friday (Picture: PA)Adverts depicting harmful gender stereotypes, such as men struggling with the housework or women unable to park a car, will be banned from today.
The new rule stipulates that ads must not include hackneyed portrayals likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence.
Other scenarios set to be outlawed include showing a man with his feet up while a woman cleans up the family’s mess and girls being less academic than boys.
Advertisers will similarly have to tread carefully when, for example, contrasting a daring boy with a caring girl, or belittling a man for carrying out commonly considered ‘female’ tasks, the Committee of Advertising Practice (Cap) warned.
The rule follows a review which found that some campaigns have the potential to reinforce harmful stereotypes, and could in turn restrict people’s choices, aspirations and opportunities.
The ads must not include hackneyed portrayals likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence (Picture: iStockphoto)It will not veto all forms of gender stereotypes, however, falling short of calling for a ban on ads depicting scenarios like a woman cleaning or a man doing DIY tasks.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) already restricts offensive ads and those that gender stereotype on grounds of objectification, inappropriate sexualisation, and depiction of unhealthily thin body images.
Chuka Umunna joins Liberal DemocratsCap said the evidence from the review did not show that gender stereotypes were always problematic or that the use of seriously offensive or potentially harmful stereotypes in advertising was endemic.
It added that the aim of the rule was therefore to identify specific harm that should be prevented, rather than banning gender stereotypes outright.
The advertising industry has had six months to prepare for the rule, and the ASA will now deal with any complaints it receives on a case-by-case basis.
Cap will carry out a review in 12 months time to make sure the rule is meeting its objective.
The ASA said it was in everyone’s interest to ‘steer clear of these outdated portrayals’ (Picture: PA)ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: ‘Our evidence shows how harmful gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to inequality in society, with costs for all of us.
‘Put simply, we found that some portrayals in ads can, over time, play a part in limiting people’s potential.
More than 1,000 women traveled from Northern Ireland for abortions last year‘It’s in the interests of women and men, our economy and society that advertisers steer clear of these outdated portrayals, and we’re pleased with how the industry has already begun to respond.’
Advertising Association chief executive Stephen Woodford said: ‘Advertising at its best should be a positive and progressive force in society.
‘The new rule on tackling harmful gender stereotypes in adverts from the Committees of Advertising Practice is an important addition to the expectations we all have for responsible advertising.’