Adverts that portray gender stereotypes with boys as daring and girls as caring face being banned by crackdown watchdogs
- Ads relying on gender stereotypes in their portrayal of children could be banned
- Under rules boys seen typically as daring and girls as caring would be ruled out
- Some brands have already taken measures to end what they see as stereotyping
The days of the sweet little girl with a caring heart and the rough and tumble boy looking for adventure could be over – in the advertising world at least.
Ads that rely on gender stereotypes in their portrayal of children could be banned in a crackdown by industry watchdogs.
The Committee of Advertising Practice is considering introducing rules that could effectively outlaw stereotypical characteristics such as boys being daring or girls being caring in adverts.
Ad that seeks to emphasise the contrast between a boy’s stereotypical personality – for example, daring – with a girl’s stereotypical personality – for example, caring – needs to be handled with care, a committee announced today
The grown-ups are also in the firing line. Other notions on the endangered list for advertising include women not being able to park cars and men failing to change nappies. Ads that suggest a perfect body is the key to success or that men should be belittled for carrying out typically ‘female’ tasks are also on the hit list.
The committee said: ‘An ad that seeks to emphasise the contrast between a boy’s stereotypical personality – for example, daring – with a girl’s stereotypical personality – for example, caring – needs to be handled with care.’
Brands that promote stereotypes
Last year a TV ad for baby milk caused controversy by showing a girl growing up to become a ballerina and a boy a scientist.
A 2016 campaign starring a boy wearing an Albert Einstein T-shirt suggested he would become an academic, while a girl would become a ‘social butterfly’.
A Christmas TV ad in 2012 showed an exhausted mum buying presents, wrapping, decorating, writing cards and cooking – while dad and the rest of the family put their feet up and had fun.
In 2009 a TV ad for oven cleaner lampooned men as idiots incapable of performing simple household tasks.
There are already rules banning advertisements that portray women as sex objects or promote unhealthily thin body images. However, the new rules being discussed by the industry would extend to depictions of what is supposedly normal or natural behaviour for men, women – and children.
Some big brand names have already taken voluntary measures to end what they see as gender stereotyping. Knorr TV ads used to show a mother and daughter in the kitchen but now feature a father and son.
But it may not be enough. The CAP watchdog said a review by the Advertising Standards Authority last year concluded such measures may need to go further.
Ella Smillie, who works as CAP’s ‘gender stereotyping lead’ said certain stereotypes could harm adults and children ‘by limiting how people see themselves and how others see them and the life decisions they take’.
Shahriar Coupal, director of CAP, said the watchdog was proposing new guidance to ‘restrict particular gender stereotypes in ads where we believe there’s an evidence-based case to do so’.
The consultation finishes at the end of July and any new rules are likely to come into effect by December.
Source: Read Full Article