WHICH ADVERTS PAVED THE WAY FOR THE ASA BAN ON SEXISM?

Which adverts paved the way for the ASA ban on sexism?
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WHICH ADVERTS PAVED THE WAY FOR THE ASA BAN ON SEXISM?



Written by Oscar Henson
18 Tuesday 18th July 2017

Today the Advertising Standards Authority finally announced plans to crack down on adverts that reinforce old-fashioned and unhealthy gender stereotypes, arguing that such ads are detrimental to “individuals, the economy and society”.

As of 2018, the ASA will introduce new guidelines to combat adverts that reinforce gender roles or mock people for not conforming to gender stereotypes, such as women being left to do the dishes, or men failing at simple household tasks.

But which are the controversial ads in question?

 

Gap

This advert for Gap Kids was pulled after it was accused of crudely peddling old-fashioned gender stereotypes.

Somebody should probably remind Gap’s PR department that, these days, women are 35% more likely than men to go to university – and far more likely to achieve top grades and less likely to drop out when they do.

 

 

Swiffer

During WWII, the iconic Rosie the Riveter image emerged as a symbol of modern femininity, showing women as powerful, self-governing and – at last - equal to their male counterparts.

Fast forward to 2017, and Swiffer have stuck a steam cleaner in Rosie’s hand and put her back in charge of the kitchen tiles, successfully turning back the clock on a whole century of feminist struggle.

 

 

Gmail

“Hey women – you all suck at computers, right? No worries – with the new simplified Gmail layout, you’ll have no problem accessing your date invites, mani-pedi vouchers, knitting updates and shoe receipts.”

 

 

American Apparel

The PR team at Urban Outfitters must have been a hardy bunch.

Over the years, their consistently raunchy ads received near-constant criticism, regularly being accused of objectifying and over-sexualising their (predominantly female, predominantly young) models.

Back in 2013, one campaign in particular was accused of blatant sexism after two models – one male, one female – were depicted wearing the exact same outfit, albeit in very different ways: the man as if on route to the boardroom, and the woman as if beckoning to the bedroom. 

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