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UK government bans ‘gender stereotypes’ in ads to prevent ‘unequal gender outcomes’

(Aislinn Ritchie/Flickr)
July 21, 2017

The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority announced Tuesday that it would be banning gender stereotypes in ads, which would include “potentially harmful” gender stereotypes.

The report, titled “Depictions, Perceptions and Harm,” found that these ads could put limitations on people, especially young girls and teenagers.

Although the standards have yet to be developed, the report mentioned examples of what would no longer be allowed in ads.

“It would be inappropriate and unrealistic to prevent ads from, for instance, depicting a woman cleaning,” however, “an ad which depicts family members creating mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up” would most likely be banned.

“These stereotypes can be reinforced by some advertising, which plays a part in unequal gender outcomes, with costs for individuals, the economy and society,” the report said.

“Our review shows that specific forms of gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to harm for adults and children,” said Ella Smillie, the author of the report. “Such portrayals can limit how people see themselves, how others see them, and limit the life decisions they take. Tougher standards in the areas we’ve identified will address harms and ensure that modern society is better represented.”

The Committee of Advertising Practice will develop new standards, which will then go into effect by 2018.

“While advertising is only one of the many factors that contribute to unequal gender outcomes, tougher advertising standards can play an important role in tackling inequalities and improving outcomes for individuals, the economy and society as a whole,” Guy Parker, the CEO of the Advertising Standards Authority, said in a statement, according to AdAge.