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Markel Insurance

19 Jun 2019

Ban on harmful gender stereotypes in advertisements

CAP has published guidance on the new rule banning harmful gender stereotypes in advertisements. The guidance sets out what's likely to fall foul of the new rule on depictions of gender stereotypes.

The Committee of Advertising Practice’s (CAP) new rule banning harmful gender stereotypes in ads has come into force. It to broadcast and non-broadcast media (including online and social media), and states “[Advertisements] must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.”
The new rule does not seek to ban gender stereotypes outright, but to identify specific harms that should be prevented.
The following examples have been provided of scenarios in ads that are likely to be problematic under the new rule:
  • An ad that depicts a man with his feet up and family members creating mess around a home while a woman is solely responsible for cleaning up the mess.
  • An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender e.g. a man’s inability to change nappies; a woman’s inability to park a car. 
  • An ad that seeks to emphasise the contrast between a boy’s stereotypical personality (e.g. daring) with a girl’s stereotypical personality (e.g. caring) needs to be handled with care. 
  • An ad that belittles a man for carrying out stereotypically ‘female’ roles or tasks. 
CAP states that the rule (and its supporting guidance) does not stop ads from featuring:
  • A woman doing the shopping or a man doing DIY.
  • Glamorous, attractive, successful, aspirational or healthy people or lifestyles.
  • One gender only, including in ads for products developed for and aimed at one gender.
  • Gender stereotypes as a means to challenge their negative effects.
The Advertising Standards Authority will deal with any complaints it receives on a case-by-case basis and will assess each ad by looking at the content and context to determine if the new rule has been broken.
A reviewed will be carried out in 12 months’ time to make sure it’s fit for purpose.
 
Tagged Legal Expenses Insurance


This feature was written in collaboration with the solicitors at Markel Law. Find out more about Markel Law and how they can assist your business.
Next article in series

19 Jun 2019

The exemption from disclosure for confidential employment references

Under data protection legislation, individuals are entitled to a copy of personal data held about them. Individuals may obtain this by making a "subject access request". However, there are some limited exemptions to disclosure in respect of certain types of personal data held .