We're consulting on a new rule to tackle harmful gender stereotypes in ads, as well as on guidance to advertisers on how the new rule is likely to be interpreted in practice. The consultation proposes the introduction of the following new rule to the Advertising Codes which will cover broadcast and non-broadcast media:

Advertisements must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.

The consultation comes after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) – the body that administers the UK Advertising Codes – published a report last year – Depictions, Perceptions and Harm  which provided an evidence-based case for stronger regulation of ads that feature certain kinds of gender stereotypical roles and characteristics. These are ads that have the potential to cause harm by contributing to the restriction of people’s choices, aspirations and opportunities, which can affect the way people interact with each other and the way they view their own potential.

The ASA already applies rules on offence and social responsibility to ban ads that include gender stereotypes on grounds of objectification, inappropriate sexualisation and depiction of unhealthily thin body images.

Please download and read the consultation document, as well as the proposed Guidance. If you would like to respond to the consultation, please use the form below.

Gender Stereotypes - our consultation document


We’ll use the information provided in this form to log and process your response to our consultation. All responses will be treated as non-confidential unless you expressly ask for confidentiality. Personal information will not be shared, unless you have a significant public profile and your identity is relevant context to your response. We’ll process this information on the basis of a legitimate interest. To find out more, please read our Privacy Notice.


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