Adverts that encourage gender stereotyping will be banned under strict new standards put forth by the industry watchdog.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will develop a new set of rules following a year-long investigation on the way adverts use gender stereotypes that ‘might be potentially harmful to people’ or assumptions that are ‘detrimental to individuals, the economy and society in general.’
The investigation was prompted by the 2015 Protein World ‘beach body ready’ advertising campaign which featured a toned bikini clad woman posing the question ‘Are you beach body ready?.’
The advert lead to the ASA receiving hundreds of complaints, caused outrage in the press and on social media, but was only banned because of ‘concerns’ over weight loss claims.
The new standards which will be finalised by the Committee of Advertising Practice will take effect next year.
The rules will not be used to ban all stereotypes, adverts that use men doing DIY or women cleaning are acceptable, but the ASA will take action against inappropriate adverts that ‘mock people for not conforming to gender stereotypes.
Guy Parker, ASA chief executive said: “Portrayals which reinforce outdated and stereotypical views on gender roles in society can play their part in driving unfair outcomes for people.
“While advertising is only one of many factors that contribute to unequal gender outcomes, tougher advertising standards can play an important role in tackling inequalities and improving outcomes for individuals, the economy and society as a whole.”