The ASA’s new report, Depictions, Perceptions and Harm published recently provides an evidence-based case for stronger regulation of ads that feature stereotypical gender roles or characteristics which might be harmful to people, including ads which mock people for not conforming to gender stereotypes.

New standards are not intended to ban all forms of gender stereotypes. For example, the evidence falls short of calling for a ban on ads depicting a woman cleaning or a man doing DIY tasks. But, subject to context and content considerations, the evidence suggests the following types of depictions are likely to be problematic:

•   An ad which depicts family members creating a mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up

•   An ad that suggests a specific activity is inappropriate for boys because it is stereotypically associated with girls, or vice-versa

•   An ad that features a man trying and failing to undertake simple parental or household tasks

In the UK we have some of the most talented advertising professionals, with high levels of creativity and ideas which really push the boundaries.

I’m lucky to have started my career in Birmingham’s leading advertising agencies like Cogent Elliot, Wallis Tomlinson and Palmer Hargreaves, where our campaigns often pushed the boundaries towards male and female target audiences.

We always (and still do) craft campaigns with the target audience at the forefront of any brief (not the client).

As I’m getting older and now a responsible parent, I have become even more intolerant to bad advertising. I was shocked to see a bus back plastered with a Vaping brand and I can see the damage ads like Beach body have on young females.

Working with talented creatives, we welcome the new ASA guidelines. A talented creative team can create memorable advertising, and we love a challenging brief.

If you’re about to embark on a new ad campaign – whether it is TV, online video, radio, poster or display ad we’d love to hear from you. Our clients trust us implicitly to deliver on time, on budget with measured results.