back to article UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

Ads depicting manchildren incapable of carrying out basic household tasks, and women in the role of Stepford Wives clearing up their mess, are to be banned in a crackdown by the Advertising Standards Authority. It follows a review conducted by the watchdog following the public's reaction to the "beach body ready" advertising …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    This is a good thing

    Communication is extremely important, and it cannot be forgotten that many people make life decisions based on what they saw on TV.

    TV has abandoned it's educational role (which is why we have public safety announcements like no alcohol for pregnant woman now), so it will have to be constrained to respect certain things.

    As a result, I am entirely for this restriction because I am a bit tired of seeing the same old ads with women doing the same old stuff and men always having the same old role. I look forward to seeing what intelligent ad makers are going to do with this. I also look forward to seeing the stupid ad makers die - but I'm not putting much faith in that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is a bad thing

      As an entirely competent male-around-the-house, I have no problem with the depiction of all or any male stereotypes, from He-man through to the wimpy Mr Muscle, or bumbling male ineptists.

      Speaking for myself, I'm sufficiently adult that I don't need some tosspot regulator to bleat on my behalf, YMMV.

      All part of the shitty culture shift of people seeking to take offence, or wanting to take offence on behalf of others. Fuck 'em all, I say.

      1. psychonaut

        Re: This is a bad thing

        what he said above

        fucking whingeing idiots with too much time on their hands. ooh, i was offended as i felt stereotyped by a fucking advert.

        go ahead, be offended. nothing happens. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHMoDt3nSHs

        go out and do something less boring instead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FQktsKvXcg

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is a bad thing

          It's not about who is or isn't offended. It's about how much harm is done to society by the reinforcement of negative or unrealistic stereotypes.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This is a bad thing

            "It's not about who is or isn't offended. It's about how much harm is done to society by the reinforcement of negative or unrealistic stereotypes."

            And how much harm is being done to society by excessive nannying? People are losing their ability to think or judge for themselves, as there's always someone else to do it for them.

            1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

              Re: People are losing their ability to think or judge for themselves

              Ah, you've spotted the agenda.

            2. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: This is a bad thing

              And how much harm is being done to society by excessive nannying? People are losing their ability to think or judge for themselves, as there's always someone else to do it for them.

              Advertising exists for a reason -- if it didn't affect people's views, companies wouldn't spend so much money on it. Any reinforcement of a stereotype has an effect, especially when children are trickle-fed it over decades. Do you think it's alright for so many girls and young women to dismiss the idea of ever having a career as an engineer because that's not what women do?

              Some people think they are not affected by advertising. Seventy-five per cent of people also think they are better than average drivers, but we still have seatbelt laws. Are you old enough to remember when people complained about first being forced to wear a seatbelt? "Bloody nanny state!"

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: This is a bad thing @Rich11

                " Are you old enough to remember when people complained about first being forced to wear a seatbelt? "Bloody nanny state!"

                Yes, they were demonstrably proven to save lives.

                The only thing this shit saves is some liberal organisations pay packet / carte blanche cheque.

              2. DropBear Silver badge

                Re: This is a bad thing

                Anyone who thinks they're immune to the influence of something as pervasive and ongoing as advertising is a bloody damned fool. No, no amount of ads can _make_ you buy a coke if you decide you don't want to buy one consciously for some reason - then again, would you really want to return to the age of Eastern folks drawn as giant-glass-wearing large-toothed idiots in cartoons...? Oh, and it's only anecdotal, but I remember reading about quite a few criminals _around the world_ complaining that upon being arrested they weren't read their Miranda rights - yeah, we're so clearly not letting what we see on telly influence how we think...

          2. veti Silver badge

            Re: This is a bad thing

            Yes, the "reinforcement of negative or unrealistic stereotypes" does harm society.

            But then, so does censorship.

            I'd like to know what rigorous study or analysis has been done to determine that the harm from one outweighs the other. I'd like to, but I suspect none has - because we're talking about articles of faith, not science.

            1. no-one in particular

              @vetia Re: This is a bad thing

              > Yes, the "reinforcement of negative or unrealistic stereotypes" does harm society.

              > But then, so does censorship.

              and as soon as we have an article about censorship that viewpoint will be taken into account; meanwhile, back at the discussion of adverts...

              1. psychonaut

                Re: @vetia This is a bad thing

                if you are worried about your kids, make sure that you, not the TV , are their main source of information regarding what they can do with their life. make sure you tell them every day if necessary, that they can be whatever they want to be. encourage and educate them.

                in the meantime, leave the incompetent blundering dads in adverts for fucks sake. theres more important stuff to worry about.

                on another note on product names, theres a product called "start ya bastard" in Australia to spray into your air intake when your engine doesn't cooperate....thats the best one i ever found...

              2. veti Silver badge

                Re: @vetia This is a bad thing

                @"no-one in particular":

                How is this not censorship?

                Serious question. Just because it's being applied to ads, rather than editorial, doesn't change the nature of it.

          3. nijam

            Re: This is a bad thing

            > It's not about who is or isn't offended. It's about how much harm is done to society by the reinforcement of negative or unrealistic stereotypes.

            It's not about who is or isn't offended. It's about how much harm is done to society by idiotic "regulators."

            FTFY

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This is a bad thing

            A little slow aren't you....or just young.

            There's a lot of Data already out there you ignoring to say something like that.

        2. ttGuy

          Re: This is a bad thing

          Precisely.

      2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: This is a bad thing

        Nanny state strikes again. Stereotypes exist for a reason - they make it easy to understand/relate to what we're viewing - and if the ASA gets its way on this then soon the only TV we're allowed to watch will feature an entire cast of 54 year-old black one-legged chutney-worshipping lesbians(1) because anything else would be an offensive stereotype.

        Bollocks to that.

        (1) https://m.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/11/bofh_2005_episode_5/

        1. psychonaut

          Re: This is a bad thing

          "It's not about who is or isn't offended. It's about how much harm is done to society by the reinforcement of negative or unrealistic stereotypes."

          so how much harm is done then? do you know anyone who has been directly effected by being shown a negative sterotype?

          how can we tell, objectively, what is or is not a stereotype?

          how can we legislate as to what constitutes a valid stereotype, and an invalid one?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This is a bad thing

            "so how much harm is done then?"

            If you take stereotypes from other times and places, like black people being subhuman or women being too simple to understand politics, it's easier to have enough perspective to see that they can cause immense harm.

            How much harm any other specific stereotype does, I'll leave for you to judge. I'm just glad you've acknowledged that such a judgement needs to be made, rather than assuming the whole thing is about someone merely being offended.

            1. psychonaut

              Re: This is a bad thing

              you make valid points, and society has moved on, which is great.

              but do you really think that the examples you raise are anywhere near in severity to what was in the article?

              how is it possible to objectively legislate for this? i would say its impossible. all we will end up with is a bunch of nonsense, as per making sure that men arent seen to be useless at household chores in adverts. its a massive waste of time, and, to me , its offensive.....but its ok, i'll get over it ;)

          2. AdamWill

            Optional

            It doesn't exactly work like that, though, does it? Negative stereotypes don't necessarily "directly" affect people in the sense I think you mean. They have a more gradual, long-term, compounded effect. And it's often not an entirely obvious effect to observe at the level of a single person, because often the effect is to influence a person's perception of what roles (in terms of work, home life or anything else) are reasonable choices for them, and it's not easy to perceive when someone just doesn't even consider doing something because they've learned over time that it's not a thing that People Like Them do. After all, *most* people don't become astronauts or firefighters or Olympic athletes, so it's hard to look at *one* person who didn't do that and say "hmm, maybe media stereotyping played a role in this". You have to have a more sophisticated analysis.

            One case I've found really interesting lately, which maybe isn't one you'd expect, is the show American Ninja Warrior in the U.S. It's an extremely popular sports-reality show (involving extremely fit people doing extremely hard obstacle courses), and to its credit it's made a conscious effort to promote female competitors. It's really fascinating to see the number of kids who see a woman doing well on a show like that and are inspired to take up the activity for themselves. I've seen more than one girl say something along the lines of they just didn't know it was *okay* for girls to be strong, muscular and powerful before seeing ANW or something like it: they just didn't see it as a choice. And indeed if you think about it, someone like Meaghan Martin (look her up, she's amazing) isn't a common sight in the media; if you think about the stereotype even of a 'fit' woman, it doesn't look like her. There's an overlap with tennis and all the shade that gets subtly thrown at players like Serena Williams who are unapologetically muscular and powerful; there's a strong current of belief that even elite female athletes must be somehow 'feminine', i.e. slender and pretty.

            To put it simply: of *course* what you see around you, in the real world and in the media, affects your idea of what you yourself are capable of and 'allowed' to do, especially at the young ages where people often form their goals. It would be surprising if it were otherwise, wouldn't it? There are also of course obvious potential downsides to allowing what is effectively censorship, but I think it's nuts to deny the idea that widespread stereotyping can have this kind of effect.

          3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: This is a bad thing

            "so how much harm is done then? do you know anyone who has been directly effected by being shown a negative sterotype?"

            Not so very long ago it was socially acceptable to smoke pretty much wherever you wanted, even in an enclosed aircraft. It was gradually made more and more unacceptable until eventually the die-hards had to be legislated against. Now smokers get tutted at out in the open air in some case.

            Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but your stereotypical working class man of the 1960's would rarely have been seen without a cigarette hanging off his lip. That's changed now and mainly by the negative messages and stereotypes used in the anti-smoking campaigns. Advertising works. Just not always they way it's intended, but repeat a message often enough and for long enough and it will take hold in significant sections of the population.

            1. Obitim

              Re: This is a bad thing

              Ant the fact smoking can cause cancer...as can second hand smoke?

          4. Rol Silver badge

            Re: This is a bad thing

            If you have been keeping up with events, you might be aware that a significant proportion of the general public absorb information, whether it be factually correct or not and then make important decisions.

            If ASA had any proper power, the whole referendum vote would be rerun, and this time without the lies.

            Yes we live in a society where the mass of idiots that suck up disinformation have reached such a critical point, they have the power to transform everything to shit.

            We need a Darwinian task force to cull the numbers to an acceptable level, perhaps back to the tried and trusted standard of one idiot per village.

            1. robin thakur 1

              Re: This is a bad thing

              This falls down the trap of saying that "'stupid' people shouldn't vote because they don't vote they way we want them to/the way they are meant to". It's patronising and false. Same with Trump and Brexit. Perhaps they have different priorities to you, or perhaps they see the truth and it is you that is taken in by lies, it's certainly not black and white. It's not very smart for example, if you know that the vast majority of the public is more stupid than the thickest person you've ever personally encountered, not to tailor an election/referendum campaign towards them, because they have the numbers advantage.

          5. Rattus Rattus
            Coat

            Re: "how can we tell, objectively, what is or is not a stereotype?"

            Easy. A stereotype is Sony, Sharp, Panasonic, etc.

          6. Martin Taylor 1

            Re: This is a bad thing

            How much harm is done? I dunno... My ex-wife got some of her more ludicrous negative opinions about me from somewhere. It may have been ultra-feminist claptrap, it may have had something to do with these stereotypes, I never really got to the bottom of it. Suffice it to say I now run the house, as my second wife is no longer able to.

            It's rarely possible to point to a single cause for these things, but I'm sure background influences play their part.

          7. Richocet

            Re: This is a bad thing

            There's not enough space in this comment field to go deep into the psychology of this...

            But everyone is influenced subconsciously by these messages. It doesn't matter if you are smart enough to identify them and object to them, be offended, agree with them, or not care.

            Whether or not anyone is offended is irrelevant. There is a 'propaganda' effect of messages that influences those who see them. Even if that was not the intent.

            I encourage you to look into this more. It's fascinating.

            I type this as I wait for my next research test subject to arrive, to observe how they go about figuring out the UI of a new website.

        2. strum Silver badge

          Re: This is a bad thing

          >Nanny state strikes again.

          The Advertising Standards Authority has nothing to do with the state. It is a private organisation, controlled and paid for by the advertising industry - who want their reputation to be a little less shabby than it usually is..

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is a bad thing

        This is unfair. Come back when the said cultural outlook prevents you from landing jobs and earning equally.

      4. Haku

        Re: This is a bad thing

        If someone will sponsor me, I will take offence at those who take offence on behalf of others.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is a bad thing

        Speaking for myself, I'm sufficiently adult that I don't need some tosspot regulator to bleat on my behalf, YMMV.
        But what of those who are not sufficiently adult? I don't want my daughter to believe that her role (or more accurately, her mother's role) is to clean up after everyone's mess, I don't want my son to believe that he can get out of chores by being incompetent. That is what these commercials have been trying to ingrain into the kids.

        I can help around the house, and insist that they do as well, but they resist and need the insistence, because "that's Mommy's job". I try to teach them better, but it is made more difficult by these ads teaching the exact opposite.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is a bad thing/This is a good thing

          In general I dislike the use of stereotypes, apart from where they're being used ironically to undermine the laziness of thinking that underlies them. From that point of view I welcome this.

          On the other hand it makes me cringe somewhat that the advertising standards agency feels they have a remit to step in like this. Sure stereotypes can be harmful, but a blanket ban? Really? The worry is that this type of creeping censorship may start going even further towards controlling the message in advertising - aand s the ASA is effectively an arm of the state I don't like where that ship is headed.

          As someone already pointed out, if it wasn't for advertisers being a bunch of unprincipled arsetrumpets this would never have even been considered. Regardless of whether this is a good or a bad move I blame the advertising industry for it being seen to be necessary at all.

      6. Amorous Cowherder
        Facepalm

        Re: This is a bad thing

        "Speaking for myself, I'm sufficiently adult that I don't need some tosspot regulator to bleat on my behalf, YMMV."

        Do you have kids? If so then you know exactly how bloody stupid and easily influenced they are by everything they see around them. That's one thing I've learned bringing up a daughter over the last 20 years, they take every single thing they learn from you, they rebel against their mothers and they look to you, their father, as the first and most important bloke in the life. Then when they move on to moon over some spotty, floppy-haired bell-end in their class they at least know what a sensible bloke is actually like as they've grown up with one all their lives. They know that people, men and women, deserve equal respect.

        I want my daughter to grow up and know that she is respected, my wife and I respect her, she can respect both men and women. Don't get me wrong I like to see some complete div making a mess in a kitchen 'cos he's a bloke, it's funny but kids are daft and I don't want my kids to see one message telling them all blokes are as thick as stupid kids and then seeing me, a sensible and I would say typical bloke who does his fair share of housework and sharing the chores, and she's gets conflicting messages.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is a bad thing

          That's one thing I've learned bringing up a daughter over the last 20 years, they take every single thing they learn from you, they rebel against their mothers and they look to you, their father, as the first and most important bloke in the life.

          Sorry, that's a negative stereotype and shall not be permitted to be advertised. Instead, though shalt portray the female offspring as idolizing the female paternal figure and being openly antagonistic to the male paternal figure, because we don't wish to reinforce the stereotype that a female may be influenced by a male, respect a male figure, or even worse actually marry a man in her future life.

          By order of the counsel, your comment may not be re-aired in its current form.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is a bad thing

        Well said, screw the offended!

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: This is a good thing

      >Communication is extremely important...

      There are two parts to this. I remember a while back coming across the problem of household product packaging. Because it is mainly women who do most of the shopping and home care (cooking,cleaning, washing) products have (increasingly) been packaged to appeal to them. A business that had identified it's opportuntiy in the market, was launching a laundry product suite (washing powder, fabric conditioner etc.) that was targeted at the increasing numbers of men - this involved both packaging changes and in the case of fabric conditioner - fragrance changes...

      1. Nolveys Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: This is a good thing

        A business (launched) a laundry product - that was targeted at - men

        I hate buying stuff like shampoo. I have to sift through a huge shelf with twenty separate "Lavavaline" products with labels like "Gentle Restorative Full Body Formula For Split Ends" and "conditioner" written in tiny letters off to the side somewhere.

        Personally I'd love to see a product line with labels consisting of big, black, block text on while labeled as so:

        Fucking Shampoo - It's Just Normal Fucking Shampoo

        Fucking Dish Soap - Guess What, It's Dish Soap

        Fucking Toothpaste - It's Toothpaste, That's All There Is To Say

        Fucking Bar Soap - Bar Soap, buy it and fuck off.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: This is a good thing

          @ Nolveys

          You might actually be on for a wonderful and marketable idea.

        2. Ben Boyle

          Re: This is a good thing

          https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/494595922/public-goods-revolutionizing-household-products

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is a good thing

          Toothpaste is a load of bollocks. Why can't they make a single toothpaste that does -everything-? Whitens teeth, kills plaque, freshens breath, strengthens enamel, removes stains, EVERYTHING. Why are there about 20 different varieties per manufacturer that only seem to handle varying subsets of the above?

          (the cynical side of me is assuming the more varieties they can spaff out, the larger their share of supermarket aisle space they can demand)

        4. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: This is a good thing

          Fucking Shampoo - It's Just Normal Fucking Shampoo

          Hmm, 'fucking' might be interpreted as a verb rather than an adjective though.

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: This is a good thing

            Women are under-represented in STEM careers. Showing girls playing with stereotypically boys toys (Lego and Meccano for example) can encourage them to work in fields that aren't traditionally seen as feminine. Same goes for boys who may want to work in traditionally female dominated fields.

            1. jrd

              Re: This is a good thing

              "Women are under-represented in STEM careers. Showing girls playing with stereotypically boys toys (Lego and Meccano for example) can encourage them to work in fields that aren't traditionally seen as feminine. Same goes for boys who may want to work in traditionally female dominated fields."

              I understand the theory but this just isn't supported by evidence. The Scandinavian countries have been implementing equality legislation based on this theory for decades and the result is they have fewer women entering STEM careers than countries with far less equality. It seems that the more "equal" peoples' opportunities are, the more they gravitate towards the fields they are interested in - so women go into nursing and teaching and men go into engineering and construction. There is plenty of academic literature on the subject.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: This is a good thing

              "Showing girls playing with stereotypically boys toys (Lego and Meccano for example)"

              Have you seen Lego these days? Just a load of assemble bits to make a specific item.

              Lego, back when I was a lad, was just a collection of blocks and you used your own imagination to make *anything*.

              1. ravenviz
                Pirate

                Re: This is a good thing

                Lego, back when I was a lad, was just a collection of blocks and you used your own imagination to make *anything*

                Yeah, we used to make cars and crash them together to see whose broke first.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This is a good thing

            Fucking Shampoo - It's Just Normal Fucking Shampoo

            Hmm, 'fucking' might be interpreted as a verb rather than an adjective though.

            It would give a subset of society a new excuse though, as opposed to "I slipped in the bath and it somehow ended up my bum, doctor"

        5. John G Imrie Silver badge

          Re: This is a good thing

          So you want Ronseal to launch a range of products:

          This is Ronseal Shampoo, it cleans your heir.

          This is Ronseal Dish Soap, it's soap that goes in a dish.

          This is Ronseal Toothpaste, it cleans your teath

          This is Ronseal Bar Soap, can you guess what it does yet.

          1. mistersaxon

            Re: This is a good thing

            I don't think you know what Dish Soap is do you? It's for washing dishes, (aka Washing Up Liquid in the UK). Soap that goes in a dish is a soap bar or soap tablet.

            There's some kind of irony here but I'm not sure where it is, exactly. Possibly in the protest against a stereotype by a living example of it?

        6. Infernoz Bronze badge
          Meh

          Re: This is a good thing

          I agree that that a lot of cleaning product labelling is annoying and deceptive, but because iffy/bad stuff has made it's way into _most_ products, both plain and fancy, so you should get educated and check the contents before you buy them e.g. they can contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors (fouls up hormones, including T), irritants, poisons (Aluminium, Toluene, Fluoride), etc.! Some brands of products can be a lot better quality with little or no harmful stuff e.g. Ecover and Bull Dog.

          1. DropBear Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: This is a good thing

            "because iffy/bad stuff has made it's way into _most_ products"

            ...sodium chloride (have you got any idea how viciously reactive both of those are?!?), ascorbic acid, dihydrogen monoxide, and the list goes on and on...

        7. Wulfhaven

          Re: This is a good thing

          I actually found such a product line in my native country. White packaging with blue text though. No fancy pictures, colors or any of that shit. There is a stylised 0% on all the packaging, since it's also void of perfume and other weird shit that seems to be popular in various cleaning agents.

          It says Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, or whatever washing or cleaning the product is supposed to do.

          And the brand is called "neutral", and is also entirely free from perfume, which is also nice.

          http://www.neutral.se, doesn't seem to have an english page though.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: This is a good thing

        (washing powder, fabric conditioner etc.) that was targeted at the increasing numbers of men - this involved both packaging changes and in the case of fabric conditioner - fragrance changes...

        So I can look forward to 'new car smell' for fabric softener* then?

        * Not that I ever buy fabric softener - my brother asked for some when he was visiting once and I asked him if he was a poof (yeah, it was a joke) - I'm single and just too cheap and minimalist to bother...

        I'm not sure this type of offensive on maybe offensive stereotypes/archetypes is really helpful - we'll probably end up with even more dull corporate PC ads than we already have - the main issue is that advert makers are a tired and worn out lot of worn-path treading hacks that really couldn't be creative even if you put them on a high dosage of hallucinogens.

        Better to apply strict entertainment standards to ads - if it's not creative enough - ban it...

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: This is a good thing

          " Not that I ever buy fabric softener "

          I take it you like hard and rough towels or never dry the washing outside on a washing line. Using an electric clothes dryer can negate the need for softener, but at a cost.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This is a good thing

            A bad example, I think - using fabric softener on towels is not a good thing:

            http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a19506/fabric-softener-cleaning-product/

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: This is a good thing

              It never occurs to people that coating an absorbent material with a water repelling surfactant will stop it being absorbent.

              My SOH does it all the sodding time.

          2. nijam

            Re: This is a good thing

            > Using an electric clothes dryer can negate the need for softener, but at a cost.

            The electricity involved costs less than the conditioner, I calculate. Obviously there's a capital cost for the drier itself to consider, but then there are other benefits to weigh against that.

    3. Justin Case

      Re: This is a good thing

      Little by little, bit by bit. Something is being taken away from us.

      At one time the stated role of the ASA was to ensure that adverts were "legal decent honest and truthful". Now, it seems, they wish to control both the message and its manner of delivery so that their social engineering ambitions will be fulfilled.

      If my mind has to be raped then I'd rather it was done by voracious capitalists - I know what their agenda is - to screw as much money out of me as possible. I know it, they know it. But this insidious abuse of power just makes me want to puke.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: This is a good thing

        "At one time the stated role of the ASA was to ensure that adverts were "legal decent honest and truthful". Now, it seems, they wish to control both the message and its manner of delivery so that their social engineering ambitions will be fulfilled."

        That's because that nice wide and grey line drawn by "legal decent honest and truthful" has been so sorely abused by the advertising industry pushing the boundaries as far as possible, like a child experimenting with what is and isn't allowed. They are supposed to be adults working within the spirit of the law, not unthinking toddlers trying it on.

        TL;DR. Are you defending the advertising industry? Really? #sad LOL

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is a good thing

          No one is saying the advertising agency is blameless. They are saying that this extends the power of the state to make moral judgements that it is not competent to make.

          its a bait and switch. They are talking about women doing housework. The next thing will be intelligent people teaching, Dogs fetching balls. heterosexual people enjoying each others company.

          Then before you know where you are it will becomes strangely selective. Party political adverts featuring certain politicians who resemble stereotypes will banned on the grounds that they resemble stereotypes.

          Finally whatever they decide is the old stereotype, will vanish, and what will be left will be a new stereotype.

          Mind control masquerading as public good.

      2. nijam

        Re: This is a good thing

        > At one time the stated role of the ASA was to ensure that adverts were "legal decent honest and truthful"

        And, as of this latest announcement, the ASA itself isn't being "honest and truthful".

    4. Oh Homer
      Big Brother

      Enough "PC", already!

      No, seriously. Enough!

      Yes, I understand that bigotry starts with the prevailing culture of "isms", that are most prominently disseminated by various entertainment mediums and their associated advertising, but on the other hand if you're the sort of person who actually needs some fucking regulator to tell you not to take the aforementioned fiction literally, then you seriously need to be nominated for the next round of Darwin Awards, because your DNA is dragging the rest of us down.

      1. robin thakur 1

        Re: Enough "PC", already!

        I completely agree. I find the affirmative action taking place at the moment (because that is what it most closely resembles) with respect to diversity, trans rights and women's equality, have come to dominate all spheres of life and particularly the news. Every other story on the BBC et al is about women being seemingly disadvantaged or outraged at something, students protesting sombreros on campus, trans people's journeys to becoming accepted or gay rights (I belong to this group but even I find the constant stream of mainstream news about it slightly tiresome). For people living outside the metropolitan areas which normalize such thinking, this cacophony of urban grief and twitter character assassination seems utterly alien, selective and off-putting.

        Yes these things are of slight importance, but this culture of blame, entitlement, victimhood and needing to constantly share everything with everybody for validation is actually starting to change human civilization and development...and not for the better.

        The 'beach-body ready' advert wasn't particularly offensive, any more than Calvin Klein men's underwear adverts and Vogue are. There's nothing wrong with having a body image to aspire to, in fact this has been the case since Ancient Greece, and the only difference here was that it targeted women with a very large picture of the model and many chose to get offended on behalf of women. Some people can achieve the look through genetics/training and some won't. Some people are "pretty/handsome" in society's view and some aren't. Some simply are simply feeble-minded mouth breathers. There's no point complaining that advertising companies don't hire a plus size or obese model to advertise an aspirational slimming plan, because it wouldn't sell well and the agency would get fired.

        Nothing is stopping you going to the beach if you are of the larger disposition, just don't be surprised if Greenpeace show up and start throwing buckets of water over you and trying to roll you back into the water.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is a good thing

      I assume you havent read 1984 then?

    6. ttGuy
      FAIL

      Re: This is a good thing

      I just barfed into my free range Peruvian corn free gluten free cornflakes with dairy, soy and almond free milk*.

      Are you for real?

      *A bowl of air

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is a good thing

      SO, you're for Big Brother forcing it on us and them, instead of letting the market settle it...

      I hate marketers but when will you people stop giving the Gov license to tell us what we should think?

      If you don't like the advert say it to the manufacturer.

      That Body ready Advert sold a lot of memberships to men AND Women who loved it.

      Didn't like it? think it's wrong? SJW that will get mommy and daddy to fix it for you?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's a start

    Now make it so vacuum cleaner adverts must accurately portray the sound they make.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: That's a start

      Do I need to do the Microsoft vacuum cleaner joke?

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: That's a start

        No, because it sucks

        1. kmac499

          Re: That's a start

          Honest advertising..

          Looking forward to see whether it's Mum or Dad who can put the biggest skidmark on an Andrex puppy...

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: That's a start

      Vacuum cleaner ads are awesome. I'm sorry, but if you start messing around with those then how will I know which one is most appropriate to help me sort through my bowling ball collection?

  3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    The only downside...

    ...is that we might get more ridiculous 'quota families' portrayed in adverts.

    It doesn't have to be that way but the advertising industry does seem at times to lack the creativity it likes to credit itself with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The only downside...

      You mean an Asian dad, Latina mum, and two children, one from Africa and the other an Australian aboriginal?

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: The only downside...

        Of course not. Where's the single parent in this would-be minorityfest?

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: The only downside...

          The asian dad and latina mum are the same gender (and race) fluid person, obviously, you facist.

  4. Cronus

    About bloody time. That is all.

  5. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
    Megaphone

    About bloody time too!

    I've been harping on about this for years and years. Now, let's take the next step and deal with the same problem in childrens television programming where it goes without saying that men/fathers are always shown as stupid, incompetent comic figures whilst women/mothers are wise, always right and competent at everything.

    Pepper Pig, I'm looking at your producers.

    1. pleb

      Pepper Pig? I guess you must be one of those out-of-touch dads who doesn't quite follow what his children are watching?

      1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
        Happy

        I'll admit, there are some things my daughter watches that will put me to sleep in a heartbeat, but Pepper Pig was a staple in our house for many years. The trauma has stuck with me.

        It also taught my daughter to expect me to be a stupid bumbling fool and my wife to be the decision maker in all things.... ....more than usual, that is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Bernard

          What are your thought on muddy puddles though?

      2. caffeine addict Silver badge

        Pepper Pig? I guess you must be one of those out-of-touch dads who doesn't quite follow what his children are watching?

        Not sure why that's getting downvotes. Seemed ElReg worthy levels of sarcasm about how dads are viewed as not knowing what kids are doing. Unless it's a non-sarcastic dig that it's "Peppa Pig", of course. :/

        ( I'm depressed that I know that considering I'm 41 and don't have kids... )

        1. pleb

          You win the prize. It was the Peppa/Pepper Pig thing. It doesn't stand up as a typo, so I was just speculating. And a little tilt at those who think we should not recognise ourselves in popular stereotypes.

        2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
          Joke

          "Unless it's a non-sarcastic dig that it's "Peppa Pig", of course"

          Great... now it's making them illiterate too.

    2. Baldrickk Silver badge

      All I know, and all I want to know about that pig is that my brother refuses to let either of his kids watch it.

      Percy Pigs, on the other hand, are delicious gummy sweets, and are by far and away M&S's single most popular product.

    3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Bob the slacker

      How about Bob the builder then? Since it would more accurately be called "Wendy the Builder, Bob the Bellend Boss" since Bob is always fucking things up, and Wendy is always making things right. Hell, she even gets asked to fix the yard man's printer, although I strongly suspect that was a euphemism :)

  6. theExecutive

    Vagisil

    We all want it!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Vagisil

      Let's talk frankly about vaginal dryness.

      No, let's not. Take it to the GP or something.

      Mind you... seeing that advert go back to back with one for Tena Lady.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Vagisil

        "Mind you... seeing that advert go back to back with one for Tena Lady."

        you mean the lady on the new ten pound note?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Vagisil

          Oh yes! That's out today. Does anyone know what flavour this one is? The beef ones were delicious.

          1. A K Stiles
            Coat

            Re: Vagisil

            Think these ones are also beef flavour - brown beef rather than blue beef though. It's the new twenties that are going to be Orangutan flavoured (or something)

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Vagisil

              They should bring back the one pound note, and make it Solent Green flavour.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Trollface

    Will they also ban ads...

    That lead me to believe I will suddenly be attractive to thousands of women once I spray their crap on my body ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will they also ban ads...

      Erm... what is the best way to read your sentence, pray tell?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will they also ban ads...

      Covering yourself in crap makes you attractive to a VERY niche demographic.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Will they also ban ads...

        Yep, I think they'd bug him a lot

      2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Will they also ban ads...

        Germans, or so I've heard.

    3. John 110
      Boffin

      Re: Will they also ban ads...

      There's evidence to suggest that humans are attracted to things that smell like themselves, so spraying their crap on your body might be a great way to attract a woman.

      Might be quite specific though.

      And there is the problem of the VERY niche demographic mentioned elsewhere

    4. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Will they also ban ads...

      That lead me to believe I will suddenly be attractive to thousands of women once I spray their crap on my body ?

      I was kind of wondering where you'd get thousands of womens crap - do you work in a sewage processing plant? What for anyway? Is it some sort of scent camoflage so you can creep about while they're undressing and they don't notice you?

  8. Kevin Johnston

    Bad move

    This is far too complex a decision and allows more loopholes than it closes. The actual decision they should have made was to ban adverts that...

    is all

  9. Excellentsword

    Ban ads

    All of them.

    1. FlossyThePig
      Coat

      Re: Ban ads

      ...and increase the licence fee...

      1. Terrance Brennan

        Re: Ban ads

        I am old enough to remember when cable TV first appeared in the US. The beauty of it was that because we were paying for the service the cable stations would never have ads on them. 40 years on and I'm paying out the wazoo for TV and seeing more ads on every station.

        And, no, ads don't cause everyone to drool like proper Pavlovian dogs. Between recording shows and racing through the ads, to muting the TV during ads, getting a cold one during the ads, or just plain ignoring them, I can safely say ads have no impact on me or my thinking. I KNOW they are lies with only a tenuous connection to the truth and reality trying to either directly separate me from my money (commercial ads) or indirectly separate me from my money (political ads).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only stereotypes left

    Will be Breastfeeding (until someone works how to make men lactate)

    Vaginal Thrush cream (yes there are ads for it and men don't have one now do they...)

    Makeup aimed at women (as opposed to stuff for men, and yes there is some)

    Will they have to advertise Makeup where the subject is a man?

    Come on now ASA you know you want it to happen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The only stereotypes left

      Will be Breastfeeding (until someone works how to make men lactate)

      Men can lactate with enough of the right hormones. Men are known to lactate as a result of taking certain drugs or having certain conditions that result in increased production of prolactin, which presumably could also be artificially injected. There are videos of male-to-female transsexuals lactating on the internet ... er, so I hear.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: The only stereotypes left

      Men can get Thrush as well, although generally in their throats, but it's basically just a type of yeast infection, so no matter what bits you have between your legs, you can still carry a disgusting disease.

      1. Mongrel

        Re: The only stereotypes left

        And the treatment (for external bits anyway) probably starts with the same generic cream, it's just the marketing drones prefer to segment the market. Look at 'specialist' painkillers; back pain, period pain, headaches, joint pain, Max Strength all with different prices - it's inevitably Ibuprofen 400mg.

    3. Nolveys Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: The only stereotypes left

      until someone works how to make men lactate

      How about genetically via an extremely contagious virus? Also, the lactation wouldn't be normal lactation, it would be unexpected explosive projectile lactation.

    4. theExecutive

      Re: The only stereotypes left

      Men Breast feed by attaching the carton of milk, to teat with masking tape, taking the straw and piercing carton, allowing child to drink from straw.... oh shit... (c) me etc....

    5. robin thakur 1

      Re: The only stereotypes left

      I was outraged last time I was in Boots and asked (as a man) for some skin concealer and skin highlighter and was served sensibly by a charming head-scarved lady without any form of outrage or homophobia. I mean WTF? I was quite disappointed really.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reverse discrimination?

    These might include: an ad that depicts family members creating mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up; one that suggests an activity is inappropriate for a girl because it is stereotypically associated with boys; or featuring a man trying and failing to undertake simple parental or household tasks.

    Isn't this just disenfranchising the many women who are housewives, and who quite rightly point out that being a housewife is a full-time job? School run, cleaning, shopping, cooking, etc etc. Not every woman may want to do that, but those that do shouldn't be made to feel that it's something to be ashamed of either.

    Preventing advertisers from making unrealistic claims and false impressions is one thing, but it seems to me that we're talking here about banning adverts which depict a widespread reality. Is it really the role of the ASA to impose some sort of metrosexual social engineering agenda on advertisers?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reverse discrimination?

      Just as much as it disenfranchises the many men who are househusbands.

      Which is rather the point.

      The actual guidelines will be drawn up by the media themselves at a later date, so I'd expect a mite more nuanced than what el reg is able to squeeze into a couple of hundred words of tabloid-ese.

  12. knarf

    Quite Right!

    I'm sick of ads showing men as bumbling idiot that need a good women to sort them out!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Quite Right!

      No more party political broadcasts from the Tory party then? ;)

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Re: Quite Right!

        “No more party political broadcasrs from the Tory party then”

        He said a ‘good’ woman. That leaves T May out, as she’s good for nothing.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Quite Right!

          Ah, but that's the lie in the advert, you see.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Quite Right!

      I know the ads you mean, for example that series of Tesco ones, with the eye-rolling sighing wife and checkout cashier.

      Never bothered me. Anyone wants to take the piss out of me, go right ahead. Don't give a .....

    3. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Quite Right!

      I'm sick of ads showing men as bumbling idiot that need a good women to sort them out!

      I'm not. I don't encounter them. Aren't ads supposed to entertain?

      I do get sick of the Chattering Classes' portrayal of men in relation to women. That all-pervasive stereotype of the human male just convinces me almost daily that I must be - in BBC terms - a woman. But the ASA has no power over the Radio 4 agenda.

      At least when they do negative stereotypes of the old (Victor Meldrew) and the young (Vicky Pollard) it's given to us as comedy.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Aren't ads supposed to entertain?

        No, they're meant to sell you a product/service.

  13. TRT Silver badge
    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Well I'm...

      Advert ranks right up there as one of the best ever.

      As a bass player I also love the song.

  14. wolfetone Silver badge

    Ah, the ASA. Useless, spineless, directionless.

    While it is a good thing that a woman will no longer be seen to just be doing the washing up, and that a man won't be the only one shaving his face, what about the adverts glorifying gambling? Why are they left to carry on unchallenged?

    And the adverts for electronic cigarettes! I've nothing against them, but the only reason they can be advertised is that they're an aid to stopping smoking. Yet I haven't seen one advert talk about that. Instead it's just "Oh these e-cigs are like the real thing!".

    Children are watching both sorts of adverts, yet the ASA think gender defined roles are more of a risk to the nation than gambling and/or addiction? What a fucking joke they are.

    1. Zimmer
      Devil

      Upvoted..

      ...and what about the sneaky, pre watershed Heineken adverts disguised as Drink Driving awareness? Clever brand placement and awareness if ever I saw it..

  15. Jim 59

    There is a difference. Showing a mother doing the majority of the cooking is realistic, at least historically speaking. Showing a man as a baffoon is not realisic, historically or otherwise.

    1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
      Coat

      Au contraire. Showing a man as a baffoon is perfectly realisic. Cromulent even.

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        Au contraire. Showing a man as a baffoon is perfectly realisic. Cromulent even.

        More woody than tinny

  16. Paul Woodhouse

    can't we just ban all ads?

  17. djstardust Silver badge

    Stereotypes

    This is everywhere.

    Happy ad (McDonalds, fruit juice, cereal bars etc.) = Sun shining and footage completely over saturated

    Sad ad (Funeral plans, Cancer charities) = Cold, dark and raining.

    Add to that any kids ad pretty much has the black, Chinese and Indian/Pakistani ones first then a normal white UK kid somewhere further down the ad.

    I'm sick of it but nothing will change IMO

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Stereotypes

      That advert for Currys music systems was FULL of them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stereotypes

      Well, not if you're going to claim that black/Indian kids whose *grandparents* may have been born here still aren't "normal" UK kids like those white boys, no.

      If your biggest beefs are that ad makers use well-worn cinematic tropes to enable them to get their point across in 30 seconds and they won't keep those non-whites in their place off your screen, then it doesn't matter how sick of it you are, you have to join the current century.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Stereotypes

        To be fair, the "mood lit" heavily de-saturated "sad" scenes down to near-black-and-white or some ludicrously blue/green/brown tinted abomination (and for that matter those full of shiny happy folks exuberantly bursting with energy and optimism, the likes of which I honestly never ever encountered in real life) are indeed exasperatingly annoying.

      2. robin thakur 1

        Re: Stereotypes

        To discuss his points sensibly, if I as a mixed race person you watch this type of advert in London and 90% of the people around you are non white, then this racial mix is representative. If you live outside a metropolitan area and see the same racial mix when 99% of the people around you are white British it just looks like odd, multi-cultural agenda based adverts. In certain areas I've been I've found adverts really jarring that contain white people because 99.9% of people walking past were not white and the ad is pretty much irrelevant to them. Therefore, in conclusion his point is not necessarily racist it's just what he's used to.

    3. ravenviz
      Facepalm

      Re: Stereotypes

      normal white UK kid

      Oh. Dear.

  18. rodc

    Meanwhile old Parky carries on with his ScamLife adverts....

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Meanwhile old Parky carries on with his ScamLife adverts....

      Well he has to do something to top up his pension.

    2. wolfetone Silver badge

      What's the problem with the ScamLife adverts?

      You get a free Parker pen, just for enquiring.

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Just remember that the pen is not a gift.

        If you think of it as a gift then your brain is conditioned to try and give something back in return and so you are easier to sell to. If you see it as an attempt to profit at your expense then your brain is conditioned to keep the pen and they can bugger off.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          The pen is; meatier than the sword.

        2. Richocet

          Except that subconsciously you try to give something back in return even if you are consciously thinking to keep the pen and they can bugger off.

          So those of us who think we have outsmarted these tactics aren't as smart as we think we are.

          This made an interesting discussion point at a work meeting where we were discussing the new policy on not accepting gifts from suppliers or potential suppliers. In fact I ended up buying suppliers and potential suppliers coffee / lunch. I have no proof, but I reckon it made them more compliant in negotiations.

    3. ravenviz

      I saw Parky once in the high street.

      Actually come to think of it, it might have been Michael Aspel.

  19. Sir Alien
    Facepalm

    The era of pointlessness

    I would like to draw attention towards the Bikini Clad model that was part of the article. We seem to be heading for an era where people are becoming thin-skinned and complain about anything that they are too lazy to achieve.

    I am solely against some advertising imagery such as models that look like twigs with a dress on and this does clearly set a bad and unhealthy example. However in the Bikini ad they used a model that was well formed and slender which looked like she simply ate right and exercised regularly. Clearly someone felt the need to complain about the ad as they did not look exactly like this model and eat 10 burgers a day. If a doctor would class a person as being of healthy shape and size then it should be permitted as part of advertising.

    This is only one example but I for one believe we should be encouraging people to have a lower body fat and be healthier not banning every ad that tries to do this. (think of the NHS) I wonder where it goes next, bodybuilders and athletes being banned from the beach because they look too fit and making someone jealous.

    It seems obese is becoming the new normal which is a sad thing :-(

    1. AppealToReason

      Re: The era of pointlessness

      So everyone that is larger than the bikini model eats 10 burgers a day...no prejudice there then.

      1. Sir Alien

        Re: The era of pointlessness

        I was stretching the truth a little (Donald Trump moment) but the point I was trying to make is that the advert was not pressuring anyone into an unhealthy figure or lifestyle and was just setting a reasonable example. People could ignore it like people have done in the past if they felt it wasn't for them.

        The outcry over that advert was in my opinion was overreacting.

        I personally am a tiny bit overweight. Instead of complaining I am doing something about it with exercise and healthy eating. It is a slow process but I am sticking with it and slowly but surely my body fat has been getting lower. Granted some situations are hard to lose weight. For example, I have indirect family member that has diabetes and although she does eat very healthy, she does have a slightly higher body fat compared to someone of equal diet and without diabetes. I don't think that majority of obese people could use this excuse though unless of course they get diabetes as a result of their obesity.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: The era of pointlessness

          It's not often you get Donald Trump mentioned in the same breath as Bikinis and, speaking frankly, I'm hoping that it doesn't happen again.

  20. My Alter Ego

    What about precocious children in adverts.

    Where you have some 8 year-olds saying stuff that is meaningless to them.

    I remember a program on advertising with Hale & Pace (or was it Smith and Jones) where they had to come up with an advert. One idea they had was getting a child to say something, but was nixed because it was unrealistic and therefore [possibly] forbidden in the 80s/90s.

  21. earl grey Silver badge
    Devil

    OMG, I'm warped for life.

    No I'm not. ODFO

  22. John Riddoch
    Mushroom

    The regular butt of jokes

    Straight white men aged 20-50 have been the "bumbling" ones in adverts for decades. Why? Because you can't show anyone else being an idiot:

    - Woman? That's sexist.

    - Non-white? That's racist.

    - Old person? That's ageist.

    - Young person? Also ageist, it's not good to make fun of kids either.

    - Gay? That's homophobic.

    Basically, making the man the butt of the joke minimises the chance of offending minorities, but it has led to the "competent housewife vs bumbling husband" trope which is pretty much everywhere. We're now swapping one form of political correctness for another, or trying to. Either way, someone will undoubtedly find something to be offended about.

  23. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Actually...

    I quite like the idea of being considered useless around the house - it means I have an easy life as I don't have to do anything more than is expected of me.

    If people smile condescendingly at my poorly ironed shirts I consider that an indication of success and smile back happily.

  24. Alistair Silver badge
    Coat

    weeehaw. Interesting the range of perspectives on this

    Personally, I think I'm inclined to take the perspective that *media* in general, (TV, Movies, Music, GooTube, Social media in general, even the few remaining print papers, and ALL magazines) Have been, for *at least* the last 50 years, painting a set of images, perspectives and *expectations* that have encoded *at least* three generations of folks for failure simply because the expectations that they've imprinted on this lot of humans **HAS NOTHING** to do with reality.

    I mean, honestly, I've never seen an add for Tylenol that was based on a 20 something coming home to their two bedroom, 3rd floor walk-up apartment, from a 6 hour - 4/2 split shift in a call centre to a 2 year old teething and howling being held by their SO, who has to leave immediately for a 12 hour overnight shift as a security guard, and all three of them taking different variants of it. And to be honest with ourselves, the above scene is a SHITTON more realistic in this world than anything that makes it into advertising....

    <Right after the lawyers, *anyone* connected to advertising>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The society of the spectacle

      100 years actually, since the birth of mass media.

      "The spectacle is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images."

      "In a consumer society, social life is not about living, but about having; the spectacle uses the image to convey what people need and must have. Consequently, social life moves further, leaving a state of 'having' and proceeding into a state of 'appearing'; namely the appearance of the image".

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The society of the spectacle

        "In a consumer society, social life is not about living, but about having; the spectacle uses the image to convey what people need and must have. Consequently, social life moves further, leaving a state of 'having' and proceeding into a state of 'appearing'; namely the appearance of the image".

        I could REALLY use a Moke Coke about now! It's healthy and wealthy and makes me look cool!

  25. MT Field
    Meh

    That's fair enough but for the love of god will you also ban Adam Sandler films?

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      You can't ban Adam Sandler films

      They're clearly divine punishment for some ancient sin.

  26. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    As the late, great Bill Hicks said

    "By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourself. Thank you."

  27. maffski

    Good news

    If the ASA wants to vet each advert for compliance with New Soviet ManTM then it clearly has too much time on it's hands. Lets get rid of 10% of them and see if they still think this is a good idea.

    Or, in other words, the public can inform advertisers of the unsuitability of their adverts simply by not buying the product.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Good news

      They aren't going to vet each and every ad. Never have and never will. It's new guidance for the industry and they'll sit back and maybe deal with complaints about breaches of the new guidance. If they have time. Then when they do get around to acting on a valid complaint, they'll ban said advert after the campaign has finished. But at least they will have set a precedent for future adverts. Maybe.

      1. maffski

        Re: Good news

        I may have been exaggerating.

        Let me try again

        Incompetent middle aged white bloke falling off things - hillarious good fun, no harm to anyone

        Incompetent middle aged white bloke falling off things - a damaging social trope holding back our younger generation

        I'm fine with the ASA holding advertisers to account over honesty, validity and provability of claims. Not so fine with them being my moral bastions.

  28. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    What does this mean for the Andrex Puppy?

    Do they have to use a Tasmanian Devil instead?

  29. Ratty.

    It's a pointless step

    The ASA has no teeth. It goes round investigating complaints

    For example, in this week's rulings, the advert "A Video on Demand (VOD) ad for Femfresh bikini line shaving products, seen on ITV Player and 4oD in March and April 2017, featured several women, who were wearing briefs and swimwear, dancing. It included multiple close-up shots of the women’s crotches.". It clearly breached ASA rules, so what did the ASA do? Did they:

    1. Report the incident to the CPS for prosecution?

    2. Prosecute them directly?

    3. Fine them?

    Nope. The full action from their web site reads "The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Church & Dwight Ltd not to use advertising that objectified women and which was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to promote their products."

    In other words, they wrote them a letter. By this time, the company has probably already moved on and are using a new advert. So a pointless gesture.

    Many companies don't even reply to the ASA. After all, what's the point?

    If England is serious about these adverts, it needs to allow the ASA to take action against these companies, not just write a letter.

  30. CCCP

    Society shouldn't move forward. Period. (well actually it should)

    FFS, we all (apart from the misogynists) know that less stereotyping probably leads to a more successful outcome for society overall. Sometimes that movement needs a nudge in the right direction, which is what this is.

    Stop being so fracking alarmist about control. Advertisers know they shouldn't be using cheap stereotypes to sell stuff. So they drag their heels, because it is easy. France recently had a similar thing about underweight models used in advertising. It is just wrong, so they legislated.

    Once equal treatment becomes the norm, we can scrap these laws as antiquated. But for now, we need them.

  31. chivo243 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    There goes

    advertising, or the philosophy behind it... Grab their attention, even for the briefest of moments, and you've planted a seed.

    Pedant, as, well, you get the advert...

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: There goes

      Yes, Mr Ad-man, I'm now aware of the product you're pushing. And thanks to your irritating presentation, I've developed a personal hatred for you and the company you're representing. It makes buying choices SO much easier when I've immediately eliminated the irritating ones!

      Was that the response you were looking for?

      P.S. Your techniques for informing and persuading aren't much better

  32. FozzyBear Silver badge
    FAIL

    And....

    The last three pages of comments just on this article is why any sort of ban is pointless.

    It doesn't matter if you think you're making the rules for the right reason.

    YOU ARE STILL GOING TO PISS SOMEONE OFF REGARDLESS

    Doesn't matter if it is the most politically neutral possible. Someone, like me, will be offended because you are trying so hard not to offend everyone.

  33. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Flame

    Request for the article author

    .. to actually include a mention of which nation is implementing the policy?

    Obviously not the Yanks, pretty sure stupid advertising companies are sacred over there and can only be tried or regulated under church law,. and probably not mainland european, but there are lots of similarities in flavour between Oz and UK government (race to the bottom? one sport where the poms are probably winning)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      United Kingdom (5,500 km east of America)

      The country is literally the first two characters of the title YOU FUCKING STUPID YANK!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well goodbye...

    ...ganja toting Afro Caribbean milking a giraffe for sweets.

    yes, I know not all Afro Caribbeans are like that.

    Some milk penguins, instead.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this catch 22?

    Let me get this straight.

    sexuality and roles are not determined by innate biology, but by cultural stereotyping.

    so in order not to warp citizens minds, we must not reinforce cultural norms.

    then citizens will become totally unsure of what cultural norms, and their roles should be.

    And we wont be able to show that on TV either, because the cultural norm of a gender confused neurotic will be considered a stereotype.

    Oh dear. you can only determine if racial discrimination is happening by an act of racial discrimination.

    you can only fix racial discrimination by an act of racial discrimination.

    What it amounts to is that government itself becomes a vehicle for self justifying bigotry.

  36. moiety

    That's the yogurt industry bolloxed then...if the ads are to be believed women hold regular yogurt parties whilst men are unable to recognise it as food, despite looking at a fridge-full of the stuff.

    1. James O'Shea Silver badge
      Boffin

      That would be because yogurt is not food. It is a disgusting mass of bacerial byproducts, even worse than honey, a.k.a. bee vomit.

      1. moiety

        You know, it vaguely worries me that yogurt parties are going on all the time, but -as a bloke- I am unable to see them.

  37. gandalfcn

    Don the Fart

    If this legislation is passed will it mean the end of clips about little handed Donnie and put an end to his future prospects of stardom?

  38. Rattus Rattus

    I have an idea that is fairer, simpler to enforce, and will be welcomed by a much wider spectrum of society: Ban ALL advertising.

  39. 0laf Silver badge

    Meh

    Well as a widower dad of one small child can I say that it's very obvious that the entire advertising and social set up is circled around kids+mum.

    And that neither my boy or myself really give a shit about it. Life's too short to get worked up about crap like that.

  40. Maryland, USA

    Long ago and far away...

    In the 1980's, I read about a study here in the states. The researchers analyzed 399 television commercials where either the woman or the man was humorously portrayed as clueless, stupid, incompetent, we're lazy. In all 399, the butt of the joke was the guy.

    1. James O'Shea Silver badge

      Re: Long ago and far away...

      I can take being the butt of the joke so long as I have the Ultimate Power ™. Kneel before me... ah, I’m not doing anything in particular, dear.... yes, dear, whatever you say, dear... SWMBO says that

      I have to go now.

  41. Matthew 17

    this shouldn't be encouraged, it's another 1st world problem

    We don't or at least shouldn't need 'protecting' from stereotypes, bad role models or anything we might see on the TV, on a billboard or on a computer. We seem to be encouraging a world where people are increasingly fragile and can't think for themselves, we need to tiptoe over endless eggshells to avoid offending them.

    Obese people are told to be 'body confident' rather than to lose weight, they cost the NHS £5billion every year, there are so many of these body confident people about no-one notices any more, yet if you see someone who is anorexic then it's rare, people look and stare, this is despite the thin/athletic models in the magazines, on the TV, in adverts etc, or the slim manakins in the shop windows. They then use 'real women' in the adverts to avoid offence meaning that to be one you have to be overweight, if you are slim/athletic then you're presumably part of the problem! If you're a man that's useless around the house or can't change a wheel on a car then you're a stereotype, if you know how to fix stuff and don't have a problem with DIY and keeping the house clean then you're just another man that's keeping women down. If you're a woman who likes being a housewife then you're oppressed! Any model used will always offend someone, it's what they're there for, it gives them validation. It's a competition to see who can be the most frequently offended and self-righteous.

    People don't need protecting, children should be taught how to think, not what to think. You should be confident in your own self and mind, your problems are your problems, they're not everyone else's, you're just as special as everyone else, i.e you're not special. No-one is interested in what you identify with if that's all you've got to contribute to the world. Go out and do something, be the best you can. If you find that the way a product is advertised offensive, awesome, don't buy their product, don't complain about it and demand that it's banned. We're bending over backwards for this tiny but very vocal minority of people who contribute nothing but demand everything. It's long past time we just ignored them and got on with our lives as all of these harmful adverts or stereotypes don't bother us, we're don't even notice them as we're just getting on with it. If you object to how something is advertised then just don't buy it. Marketers create adverts they think will help sell a product, if it doesn't work they'll try a different approach.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: you are a 1st world problem

      Advertising is psychological warfare against the proletariat, and increasingly the precariat (gambling, payday loans).

      >a world where people are increasingly fragile and can't think for themselves

      Societal atomization caused by capitalism

      >People don't need protecting

      Yes they do. From products that will harm their health.

      >children should be taught how to think, not what to think

      Impossible under capitalism

      >you're not special

      Everyone is literally unique, but that uniqueness must be sacrificed to become a cog in the machine. In an increasingly robotised world, sacrificing people like this becomes glaringly unacceptable.

      >Go out and do something, be the best you can

      The proletariat don't have the luxury of choice

      >ignore them and got on with our lives

      Our lives as consumers right?

      >Marketers create adverts they think will help sell a product

      No, they create adverts to spread consumer ideology. The idea that you have a problem (that may not even exist), and that problem can be solved by buying things. However most real problems are inherently social.

      1. Ropewash

        Re: you are a 1st world problem

        >>People don't need protecting

        >Yes they do. From products that will harm their health.

        Fuck right off. I'll smoke if I want to, drink if I want to and stay up late eating fucking crisps if I want to.

        >>children should be taught how to think, not what to think

        >Impossible under capitalism

        Last time I checked, parents were still parents no matter what system they live under. It's their job to teach the children.

        >>Go out and do something, be the best you can

        >The proletariat don't have the luxury of choice.

        Yes. Yes we do. No-one is forcing us to make shitty decisions, we do that all on our own and often refuse to learn from the mistakes. That's our failure. Every person who ever worked their way up from nothing to have a decent life is proof that the choice is there.

        >>ignore them and got on with our lives

        >Our lives as consumers right?

        I almost agree with you there... But I dare you to live without consuming anything for a week. Being alive means consumption, no way around it. If you'd said hyper-consumers then I would have been on side.

        So what is your solution to these ills if I may be so bold as to inquire?

        If you suggest socialism I'll point out that Venezuelan real-estate is really cheap right now. Go buy yourself some and live in your utopia. Personally I'll pass.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What we need is more government regulation of acceptable speech...

    bleated the sheep in unison.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What we need is more government regulation of acceptable speech...

      Corporate propaganda isn't speech.

  43. Disgruntled of TW
    WTF?

    From the agency that let BT and Virgin advertise "Superfast Fibre Broadband"

    ... when the fibre stops at a cabinet many hundred meters away from your house at best. I complained, and they said "because the fibre represents the most significant distance along which the data travels, it is permitted to call it fibre broadband".

    This ignores the fact that the weeny piece of copper string at the end of the fibre is what dictates the ACTUAL PERFORMANCE of the connection.

    This is more nannying from an organisation that meddles and really shouldn't feel obligated to worry about society/services that it isn't responsible for and doesn't understand. Stop it. Focus on fairness and stop the lying. Leave the rest of the grown-ups alone.

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