‘This ad is for white people only’: Ad Standards campaign targets racism and sexism

The advertising industry needs to lift its game and strive to exceed existing standards to deliver more socially progressive campaigns.

That is the message from the industry’s self regulator Ad Standards as it targets sexism, racism and stereotypes in advertising.

As part of the push, Ad Standards has launched a campaign, created by Loud Communications, titled Kinder Conditions. It will span TV, radio, newspapers and billboards, and aims to draw consumer attention to the various Codes which dictate the industry’s accepted standards around motor vehicle advertising, advertising to children, food advertising, sexism and racism.

Fiona Jolly, CEO of Ad Standards, said she hopes the campaign highlights the ability of advertisers and agencies to have more socially progressive messaging in their communications.

“There’s a perception throughout the industry that the Codes in place hinder creativity – well that’s absolutely false,” said Jolly.

“The Codes set the minimum standards. Advertisers should not feel inhibited in going beyond the standards and aiming for more socially progressive advertising, which in turn can help companies achieve better business outcomes.”

Despite the wide-reaching campaign, Jolly said Ad Standards isn’t finger-pointing at any industry or business in particular.

“Although the Codes we’ve highlighted are some of the least complained about, we have to remind people that advertising standards are in place and they are there to achieve the greater good for everyone, advertisers and the community alike.

“In fact, it’s been proven that Australia’s advertising self-regulation complaints system is responsive, cost-effective and efficient – it protects the integrity of brands through a wide range of advertising initiatives that align with community values. It’s a win-win.”

Lorraine Jokovic, CEO of Loud Communications, said there is no denying the campaign is confronting.

An outdoor execution of the ad (Click to enlarge)

“For the TVC, we employed a 1950s’ aesthetic reminiscent of a time where stereotyping was the norm.

“Together, these devices highlight how the industry can progress and move away from outdated clichés which, unfortunately, can offend and discriminate against many groups.”

Click to enlarge

To showcase its support for positive social change in advertising, this year Ad Standards is sponsoring a new Effie Awards category called ‘positive change’ which recognises and celebrates brands that are promoting the greater good through marketing communication.

In the same spirit, Ad Standards is also encouraging advertisers and agencies to nominate an ad that they believe celebrates creativity and goes beyond the already high standards in Australia to create Kinder Conditions.


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