20 December 2018
From 14 June 2019, ads will no longer be able to show content which depict harmful gender stereotypes. These could be adverts which show men struggling with housework or childcare, or girls being less academic than boys. This comes after a public consultation and based on evidence collected by the ASA which shows that advertising can have an effect in reinforcing unequal gender outcomes, and therefore affecting the choices of children, young people and adults.
The new rule states that: [Advertisements] must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.
The rule does not seek to ban gender stereotypes completely, only ones that are considered harmful.
CAP has published guidance to help advertisers comply with the new rule by providing examples of scenarios likely to be problematic in ads. For example:
The new rule and guidance does not intend to prevent ads from featuring:
CAP will carry out a review 12 months after the new regulation is applied to check whether it is having a positive effect or whether more needs to be done.
Having an advert banned by the ASA could affect a brand's reputation and business by attracting bad publicity.