Are you offended or did you giggle? You better be offended, because in the United Kingdom this ad has been banned. It contains a gender stereotype which is no longer allowed by the independent regulator of advertising in the country, the Advertising Standards Authority. New regulations were put forth earlier this summer making any common depiction of men and women in advertising nearly impossible.
It seems bumbling dads and attentive moms are no longer appropriate subjects for advertisers to use to try and connect with their target market. This ad was also banned.
According to The Guardian, the “public” actually complained about these ads. While I have no idea what level of outrage was demonstrated, I have a funny feeling it looks kind of like the five guys at Media Matters relentlessly calling Tucker Carlson’s advertisers.
According to the article the problem with the first ad was this:
Complainants said the tongue-in-cheek ad perpetuated a harmful stereotype suggesting men were incapable of caring for children and would put them at risk as a result of their incompetence.
The problem with the second:
Complainants said the ad showed men engaged in adventurous activities, that unlike her male counterpart, the female rock climber was “passive” because she was asleep, and that the woman with the pram was depicted in a stereotypical care-giving role.
So let me get this straight. you can not depict dads taking care of children in an amusing way. You can also not depict woman caring for a child. Shall ads now depict children in the care of the family dog?
Because you can’t picture them with grandma. That would be a gender stereotype. And if grandpa got duped by his mischievious grandkids, that would be a gender stereotype.
How about the Volkswagon ad. It had men and women engaged in an extreme sport, a disabled person overcoming the odds, some astronauts and a woman who appears to be a mother eyeing a new car. Seems pretty inclusive to me, but according to the ASA, it’s problematic. Maybe if it had been a trans man pictured with the stroller it would have been permissible.
According to Clearcast, the agency responsible for reviewing ads for compliance, this may be just the beginning.
“We are naturally disappointed,” it said. “The ASA’s interpretation of the ads against the new rule and guidance goes further than we anticipated and has implications for a wide range of ads.”
This is a country where:
The elected representatives of the people have failed to implement Brexit for three years creating an impending crisis for their democracy