Ad description

A three-minute TV ad for JML’s Hurricane Spin Scrubber, seen on 7 January 2024, depicted a number of women using the cleaning tool in bathrooms, kitchens and other home environments. The ad included a male and female host. The male host described the product and demonstrated how it worked.

Four of the women described their experiences with the tool, saying, “As soon as I started using the spin scrubber, it’s so powerful it made cleaning so much easier”; “I love using the extension pole to get the rings out of the bathtub. I love it”; “I’ve given this to my mother as a gift, and it has changed the way she cleans. I don’t have to worry about her slipping she just clips it in, cleans the top of the shower and I don’t have to worry anymore”; and “My favourite brush is the cone brush, it’s amazing. It gets all the little crevices, nooks and crannies. It gets all that calcium built up around the sink and around the tub and faucets.”

A male voice-over concluded, “To get your hands on the Hurricane Spin Scrubber and a sparkling clean home call now, or visit”


The complainant, who believed the ad perpetuated harmful gender stereotypes by depicting only women in a role that was stereotypically female, and implying that only women cleaned or were interested in cleaning products, challenged whether it breached the Code.


John Mills Ltd t/a JML stated that they had updated their advertising following an ASA ruling in 2021 regarding a TV ad for the JML Hurricane Spin Scrubber which the ASA had concluded had presented gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm. They believed that the new ad, which featured a male presenter who was shown demonstrating and using the product, provided more of a gender balance.

Clearcast stated that they had taken into consideration the previous ruling and that the new ad was in line with the CAP and BCAP “Advertising Guidance on depicting gender stereotypes likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence”. The new ad included a male presenter who was shown demonstrating and using the product. The women’s testimonials talked only about the product’s functionality. There was no mention of taking pride in the appearance of their house or being judged for their cleaning, nor was there any mention of cleaning up after other people in the house. They believed this removed any impression of cleaning being solely the woman’s responsibility and never done by men. There was no implication that men could not or would not do cleaning in a house.

Although the ad featured people undertaking gender stereotypical roles, they believed the inclusion of the male presenter talking about and demonstrating the product, meant that they avoided suggesting that stereotypical roles, cleaning in this case, were uniquely associated with one gender and not carried out by the other.



The BCAP Code stated that ads must not include gender stereotypes that were likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence. Joint CAP and BCAP guidance stated that gender-stereotypical characteristics included attributes or behaviours usually associated with a specific gender. The guidance stated that ads may feature people undertaking gender-stereotypical roles, such as showing women cleaning, but they should take care to avoid suggesting that stereotypical roles or characteristics were: always uniquely associated with one gender; the only options available to one gender; or never carried out or displayed by another gender.

The ad showed a number of women using the product in domestic settings such as kitchens and bathrooms, three of whom described aspects of the product’s functionality, how that related to what they used it for and how much they liked the product. Another woman described how she gave the product to her mother because she was concerned about her safety when reaching to clean the top of her shower. There were also a number of shots of people cleaning or holding the product which showed only the hand or torso of individuals. The ASA considered that many of the torso shots could be identified as being of women, because of their body-shape. It was not easy, however, to distinguish whether the shots of the hands were those of men or women, because they were brief. The ad also included a male host and a female host. We therefore considered that, with the exception of the male host, the ad only featured people who could be readily identified as women.

The only readily identifiable man in the ad was one of the hosts. Whilst he was shown demonstrating the features of the product, he did so in his role as an employee of the company, rather than commenting on or showing how he personally used the product to clean his home. We considered that the juxtaposition of the male host in an authoritative position explaining and demonstrating how the product could be used alongside several women using and talking about their personal experiences of using the product to clean their home, reinforced the harmful gender stereotype that cleaning the home was the responsibility of women, and that men did not share that responsibility. Furthermore, the male host was accompanied by a female host who did not demonstrate or describe the features of the product herself, but instead observed and assisted him. In the context of the ad, we considered that this reinforced the harmful gender stereotype that it was a woman’s role to assist men, which contributed to the wider impression that it was their role to keep the home clean rather than a man’s.

For those reasons, we concluded that the ad presented gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm and therefore breached the Code.

The ad breached BCAP Code rule 4.14 (Harm and offence).


The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told John Mills Ltd t/a JML to ensure that their advertising did not present gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm, including by suggesting that cleaning the home was a responsibility uniquely associated with women.



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