Sexist advert debate: Campaigner says blanket ban is excessive

'Blanket ban on representation in adverts is too far, but gender roles need to be balanced', says campaigner

There will be a crackdown on gender stereotyping

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A blanket ban on representation in adverts is excessive, according to a writer and campaigner.

The Advertising Standards Authority has said it will ban adverts that are sexist, for example showing gender stereotype roles like men failing at household tasks or women having to tidy up.

Natasha Devon, the founder of body image and mental health organisations Body Gossip and the Self-Esteem Team, told Sam Delaney: "We’re exposed to more advertising than we have ever been before

"All of the adverts we see in the world around us conspire to create stereotypes. If we hear something over and over again we start to take it on as a conscious belief."

Despite these concerns, Devon said: "I don’t think that introducing a blanket ban on any representation on any type of person is the way forward. I just think perhaps it needs to be a little bit more balanced."

Carol Cass, a former advertising art director, added that money is the bottom line for advertisers so "the humour and fun seems to have gone out of it.

"Stereotyping is an easy target and you get a cheap laugh."

But whilst she agreed that bad advertisements should be scrapped, we can't completely eradicate "women being women and men being men."

This area, she said, is so wide that "actually it needs education."

Listen to the full interview above