UK Regulator to Ban Adverts Depicting ‘Gender Stereotypical’ Roles

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Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has announced it will crack down on “gender stereotypes” in the latest politically correct move by Britain’s political establishment.

In a press release issued Tuesday, the regulator’s chief executive, Guy Parker, said: “Portrayals which reinforce outdated and stereotypical views on gender roles in society can play their part in driving unfair outcomes for people. While advertising is only one of 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.”

The decision is based on a new, 64-page report entitled Depictions, Perceptions and Harm which alleges gender stereotypes “might be harmful to people”.

The paper itself leans on an 81-page study reliant upon anecdotal or “qualitative” evidence. The data was put together by German market research firm GfK, which also favoured imposing a “pro-Remain” question on the ballot papers for Britain’s 2016 EU referendum.

Ella Smillie, who led the report for the ASA commented: “Our review shows that specific forms of gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to harm for adults and children. 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.”

Key findings reported include support for banning ads that “objectify or inappropriately sexualize people”; ads which “suggest that it’s acceptable for young women to be unhealthily thin”; and cracking down on “ads that feature stereotypical gender roles or characteristics”.

The BBC cites Protein World’s “Beach Body” advert of 2015, which has already been banned by London’s Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan due to sexual imagery.

Adverts which could be banned in future, the ASA suggests, include:

  • An ad which depicts family members creating a mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up;
  • An ad that suggests a specific activity is inappropriate for boys because it is stereo-typically associated with girls, or vice-versa;
  • An ad that features a man trying and failing to undertake simple parental or household tasks.

Conservative Member of the European Parliament David Campbell-Bannerman called the move “worrying”, likening it to thought policing:

 

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