Thursday, December 20, 2018

UK Bans Ads Featuring Stereotypically Stupid Women And Moronic Men


The UK is set to outlaw ads depicting negative gender stereotypes, such as women who can't park a car or men who don't know how to change a diaper, according to Reuters

Britain's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that some stereotypes are harmful - particularly those which belittle men for carrying out traditionally female tasks, or which suggest that young mothers should prioritize looking good over their emotional wellbeing. 

"Our new rule calls time on stereotypes that hold back people and society," said Shahriar Coupal, director of the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) - the body which sets the advertising guidelines the ASA follows. 

From next June, adverts featuring a depiction of gender roles that could cause offence or harm will be axed, it said.

The ban will apply to broadcast and non-broadcast media, including TV, radio, newspapers and social media.

It follows a campaign for weight loss products featuring a bikini-clad model with the tag line "Are you beach body ready?" that drew a barrage of complaints.

In November, retailer Marks and Spencer came under fire for a window display juxtaposing men in suits and women in knickers, while two months earlier Sweden's advertising watchdog said a viral meme showing a man staring at another woman was sexist. -Reuters

"Harmful gender stereotypes in ads contribute to how people see themselves," said CAP's gender stereotyping project lead Ella Smillie, who added "They can hold some people back from fulfilling their potential, or from aspiring to certain jobs and industries, bringing costs for individuals and the economy."

"Our most recent research on public trust has shown the public particularly appreciates advertising when it takes a progressive stance," said Stephen Woodford, head of the UK's Advertising Association.

The move was predictably applauded by women's rights groups. 

"Our society and our economy pays a heavy price for the constraints we place on boys and girls from our earliest moments of life. It has to change," said Sam Smethers, CEO of the Fawcett Society.

Others weren't so sure about the new rules. 

"What next, the politically correct going for our comedy shows!," tweeted conservative lawmaker Andrea Jenkyns. 

Two weeks ago a comedian and free speech advocate, Konstantin Kisin, pulled out of an event at the University of London after they sent him a "behavioural agreement" which forbade him from discussing any topic not "respectful and kind."