TV Ad Showing Mother Caring For Baby Banned For ‘Harmful Gender Stereotypes’
New TV commercials rules in UK draws line on on 'offensive' stereotypes
A television advertisement which features a mother attending her baby while men are out adventuring has been taken off-air due to new rules which ban commercials that deem to show “harmful gender stereotypes."
One of the first ads to get culled by the new rules introduced in June is a commercial for the electric Volkswagen eGolf car.
The 'offensive' ad shows a man and sleeping woman in a tent on a cliff, the next clips hows three male astronauts working in a craft in space, then male para-athlete.
The ad ends with a woman sitting on a bench next to her baby in a pram.
The advert concludes with suggesting the VW is so quiet it fails to disturb the sleeping baby as it drives by.
But three people complained about the commercial, prompting the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to ban the commercial because it portrayed men as being daring and adventurous while depicting women as “passive or engaged in a stereotypical caregiving role.”
The ASA said in a statement:
“By juxtaposing images of men in extraordinary environments and carrying out adventurous activities with women who appeared passive or engaged in a stereotypical caregiving role, we considered that the ad directly contrasted stereotypical male and female roles and characteristics in a manner that gave the impression that they were exclusively associated with one gender."
“We concluded that the ad presented gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm and therefore breached the Code.”
“It’s about thinking about what the cumulative effect of those gender stereotypes might be.”
The second ad for soft-cheese spread Philadelphia saw 128 complaints because it portrayed two hapless dads leave their babies on a conveyer belt as they became distracted by food.
The ASA pulled the humorous and light-hearted ad because it portrayed men as “somewhat hapless and inattentive, which resulted in them being unable to care for the children effectively."
It added it “relied on the stereotype that men were unable to care for children as well as women, and implied that the fathers had failed to look after the children properly because of their gender.”
Advertising regulators in the UK launched the rules on traditional 'harmful' family stereotypes from adverts as part of a new crackdown.
The new rules for advertisers include not using “gender stereotypes which are likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offense.”
The examples of violations include woman failing to park a car, a man failing to change a diaper, or adverts that imply women are bound to domestic chores such as cooking and cleaning.
Industry watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority will assess complaints against such 'offensive' ads.
Policy expert at CAP, Ella Smillie told the BBC:
"There is nothing in our new guide to suggest that ads can't feature people carrying out gender-typical roles."
"The issue would be if in that depiction it suggested that that's the only option available to that gender and never carried out by someone of another gender."