AANA set to update advertising gender stereotype guidelines

The Australian National Association of Advertisers (AANA) is set to update its guidelines on gender stereotyping in advertising.

The AANA’s promise to review its guidelines on gender stereotyping comes after the The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) launched a new guide to help brands reflect a more progressive portrayal of men and women in their advertising.

As a member of the WFA, the AANA said it will be supporting the voice of the industry from an international level by taking steps to remove stereotypes from advertising.

The AANA said it would provide more details of its tightened rules around sexism in advertising in its code of ethics practice note which will be used by the Ad Standards Board when handling consumer complaints.

The industry body did however explain that the new code does not prohibit all forms of gender stereotyping instead it encourages advertisers to avoid depicting men and women in a way which would show people in an unfavourable manner due to their gender.

The industry body has also promised to help advertisers understand how the amended code applies to the use of gender in stereotypes.

While the AANA already has a code in place to deal with discrimination related to gender stereotypes, it will now detail how Ad Standards and advertisers should use the code and help them better understand how the existing code operates with respect to gender stereotypes.

John Broome, CEO of the AANA, said in a statement: “Gender stereotypes in advertising can limit and reinforce misperceptions about roles in society. The Code of Ethics helps ensure advertisers do not use discriminatory portrayals that reinforce negative gender stereotypes.

“Advertising contributes to cultural attitudes and there is a social imperative to positively effect change in the way people are portrayed. The AANA’s new guidance aims to reinforce responsible advertising that does not diminish or limit the role of women and men in society.”

The new revised guidelines follows the AANA’s revised code of ethics on sexual appeal in advertising which now breaches an ad if it is “exploitative or degrading” instead of having to be both.


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