In January I attended the PAGB Gender Stereotyping in Advertising seminar. It was an eye-opening experience and definitely food for thought. Here are five things I learnt.
- Approximately 15 woman attended the seminar, and only three men. Does this mean gender stereotyping is an issue woman feel more strongly about than men?
- Over the last couple of years the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) have been researching gender stereotyping in advertising and have complied some guidance.
- When researching for the ‘This girl can’ campaign it was discovered there were a large number of reasons woman did not exercise. However, they all boiled down to one thing; not wanting to be judged. Whether this was being judged for looking silly, being bad at the sport, being good at the sport, doing sport when they should be with their children. This insight was vital for the campaign and shows the importance of really understanding your audience – not just speculating.
- Gender stereotyping women also has a detrimental impact on men. Implying a woman is good at housework, also implies a man shouldn’t be good at it. Implying a woman is bad at DIY also implies a man should be good at it.
- When gender stereotyping is combined with racial stereotyping the effect is amplified. Currently there is no CAP guidance on racial stereotyping but this may follow.
The seminar made me realise gender stereotyping is so extensive that it hides in plain sight. Now I am on the lookout, I see it everywhere. What really hit me was by stereotyping a certain group you aren’t just impacting that group but others as well. So it’s everyone’s problem.
By Sophie Royall, Representation Rep and Senior Copywriter