In recent years, there has been increasing political and public debate on equality issues. The mocking of women and men in non-stereotypical roles, the reinforcement of stereotyped views of gender roles, and gender-specific marketing to children, as well as concerns regarding objectification, sexualisation and the presentation of an idealised or unrealistic body image are all issues that have gained considerable public interest.

As a proactive regulator, we want to find out more about these issues and others to ensure we continue to be alive to and in tune with prevailing standards when interpreting and applying the rules. Consequently, we will be doing three things: examining evidence on gender stereotyping in ads, seeking views from a range of stakeholders, and commissioning our own research into public opinion.

We are eager to hear about what stakeholders and the research tell us about gender stereotyping in ads and the impact of such advertising, which will help shape the project as we move forward. In particular, we are keen for people and organisations to send us any research they have on this issue. Evidence can be sent to us at gender@asa.org.uk.

We are requesting submissions by the end of June to help inform the approach we take to the public research we will be carrying out. After June, we will still be happy to receive evidence and consider it, but it won’t be able to inform the public research.

The project will report on whether we’re getting it right on gender stereotyping in ads. If the evidence suggests a change in regulation is merited we will set out the best way to achieve it.

We’re serious about making sure
we’re alive to changing attitudes
and behaviours. That’s why we’ve
already been taking action to ban
ads that we believe reinforce
gender stereotypes and that are
likely to cause serious and
widespread offence, or harm.


Guy Parker, ASA Chief Executive

Chief Executive of the ASA, Guy Parker, said:

“We’re serious about making sure we’re alive to changing attitudes and behaviours. That’s why we’ve already been taking action to ban ads that we believe reinforce gender stereotypes and that are likely to cause serious and widespread offence, or harm.

“And that’s also why we want to engage further with a wide range of stakeholders on the effect of gender stereotyping on society, including through our ‘call for evidence’.

“I look forward to hearing from stakeholders as this important work progresses.”


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