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Zero Tolerance call for public to give their thoughts on sexist advertising

The Advertising Standards Authority’s call for comments is an excellent opportunity for individuals and organisations to tackle the insidious nature of advertising and its effects.

We are calling on the ASA to tighten up their rules and to put in place a code of practice that means they can better hold advertisers, and companies to account. Our Campaigns & Engagement Officer Liz Ely said;
‘Too often, advertising relies on sexist codes and tropes which contribute to gender inequality, the cause and a consequence of violence against women. At Zero Tolerance, we are well aware of the power of advertising, from our research with parents, not to mention the ongoing impact of our own 1992 billboard campaign. We welcome this call for evidence from the ASA and would urge anyone with an interest in gender equality to respond’

Recommendations from Zero Tolerance include:
• Regulators should make it clear how to report adverts, including online pop ups and other online adverts, that cause harm and offence.
• Regulators should continue to monitor and research gender stereotyping in advertising to ensure we progress.
• Regulators should consult with experts in the field of violence against women and girls on a code of practice which defines what is unacceptable within broadcast, print, and online media.

At Zero Tolerance we have long held the view that the media plays a huge part in shaping our perceptions on gender stereotypes, and we build this view into our training and resources. Our 2015 survey of parents showed that 60% of those surveyed saw gender stereotyping occurring most frequently on TV and media and as advertising is such a large feature of these types of media, it’s clear that it has a key role to play in influencing our perceptions.

We are pleased to see the ASA is calling for comments on this issue and we would urge individuals and organisations to take this opportunity to have their say.

Notes for the editor

  1. The Advertising Standards (ASA) has announced they are commissioning new research on the prevalence of negative gender stereotyping in adverts and invited members of the public and interested organisations to contact them to share their views on the issue in a bid to gauge public opinion. More information is on their website: https://www.asa.org.uk/News-resources/Media-Centre/2016/Our-call-for-evi...
  2. Zero Tolerance is a Scottish charity working to end men’s violence against women by promoting gender equality and by challenging attitudes which normalise violence and abuse. Find out more about Zero Tolerance on our website: http://www.zerotolerance.org.uk/
  3. The full submission to the ASA is available on the Zero Tolerance website: http://www.zerotolerance.org.uk/news/advertising-standards-authority-inv...
  4. Zero Tolerance’s 2015 report “The Default Setting” on parents’ views on gender stereotyping is available on the website: http://www.zerotolerance.org.uk/news/zero-tolerance-releases-gender-ster... This survey of 1300 parents showed that 60% of those surveyed saw gender stereotyping occurring most frequently on TV and media, while 46% identified TV as the biggest influence on children's views, with a further 18% identifying movies as the key influence.
  5. Information about Zero Tolerance’s 1992 billboard campaign can be found on the website: http://www.zerotolerance.org.uk/resources/prevalence-campaign?destinatio...



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