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From Sexism to Woke Regulations: Gender and Advertising

Nikos Sotirakopoulos, Chloe Westley

Presented at: The Advertising Wars: Ethics, Culture & Politics ARC-UK

Date: Apr 13, 2019

The ‘Are you beach body ready?’ poster from Protein World in 2015 resurfaced a discussion about gender stereotypes in advertising. The controversy and the whole debate culminated in the industry’s regulator banning ‘sexist’ stereotypes in advertising. This follows the decision by London major Sadiq Khan to ban ads from London tube that ‘objectify’ women or engage in ‘body shaming’; a measure already present in other EU capitals, such as Stockholm. So, are gender stereotypes still prevalent in advertising, and if yes, do they “hold back people and society"? If so, how are such outdated views to be opposed? What does the new regulation banning such ads in the UK mean for the advertising industry in particular and freedom of speech in general?

advertisingfreedom of speech

Parts: 1

Handout: none