Find a list of your saved stories here

UK advertising watchdog to crack down on gender stereotypes

Save Story

Save stories to read later

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

LONDON (AP) — Britain's advertising watchdog says commercials depicting hapless husbands and housework-burdened moms may be bad for the nation's health.

The Advertising Standards Authority said Tuesday it would impose tighter regulation on what it called harmful gender stereotyping.

The regulator said a "tougher line" is needed on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles, including those which mock people for not conforming. Such ads restrict "the choices, aspirations and opportunities of children, young people and adults," it said.

The watchdog, which has previously banned ads for suggesting it was desirable for young women to be unhealthily thin, said it won't ban all stereotypes, such as women cleaning or men doing home improvement jobs.

But ads that depict a woman having sole responsibility for cleaning up the family's mess, or showing "a man trying and failing to undertake simple parental or household tasks," could be banned.

So could commercials suggesting a specific activity is inappropriate for boys because it is stereotypically associated with girls, or vice versa.

The report cited several ads viewers had complained about, including one for baby formula Aptamil in which a girl was shown growing up to be a ballerina and boys to be engineers and rock climbers.

The standards authority does not have the power to impose fines, but British broadcasters are bound by the terms of their licenses to comply with its rulings.

Ella Smillie, lead author of a report for the watchdog, said gender stereotypes in advertising "can limit how people see themselves, how others see them, and limit the life decisions they take."

Last month a group of firms including household-products giant Unilever launched the Unstereotype Alliance, a United Nations-backed campaign to banish gender stereotypes in advertising.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent Business stories

Related topics



    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast