‘Blatant sexism’: ANZ’s #equalfuture campaign cleared of discriminating against men

ANZ has denied its last TV ad which highlighted the disadvantages women face in the workplace was “vilifying boys and men” after complaints to the ad watchdog that it was sexist.

The ANZ #equalfuture campaign features children talking about how women should have the same access to literacy, education and pay as men, was accused of “blatant sexism” in one complaint to the Advertising Standards Board, while another said it was “exceptionally biased” and “appears to have been written by a woman with strong feminist views”.

One complainant said: “This ad is exceptionally biased. It appears to have been written by a woman with strong feminist views. This particular advertisement insinuates that women are being disadvantaged in the business world but makes zero references to the numerous advantages that they receive over men.

“This ad also ends with a girl screaming ‘enough’ in an exceptionally high-pitched tone which would be painful to many viewers.”

ANZ hit back in a statement, claiming they are not “vilifying boys and men,” but highlighting the challenges women face.

The bank responded: “The campaign aims to shine a light on the current factual statistics about how women fare globally in the areas of management, education, government and income and highlight the juxtaposition of these outcomes with the promise and potential we see reported in early developmental studies of children the world over.”

They also addressed the requirements of the AANA Code of Ethics, asserting the campaign met health and safety, language, discrimination, exploitation and non-violence standards, as well as addressing two complaints received in detail.

The ASB concluded that the ad was not gender-biased as it contained statistical information corroborated by research presented in a way to educate and inform the viewer.

According to the ASB case report, the complaint was dismissed, finding that: “The content of an advertisement that highlights and identifies a particular issue of inequality within the community is not of itself discriminatory.”

Danielle Sen


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