Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) Cracks Down on Gender Stereotyping

Written by Briffa | August 11, 2017

Intellectual Property

The Advertising Standards Authority has carried out a study into advertising and the impact gender stereotyping may have on the general public. The report looked at how gender assumptions that are promoted in advertising, such as “typical” male and female roles and body image, are harmful and whether the ASA has been doing enough to combat it. Further details of the report can be read here but the headline summary is: we could better and we will do better.

Is this important? Well, the ASA’s codes of conduct need to be considered by any party involved in the marketing industry – from product owners, branding agencies and content producers. Through bodies such as Ofcom, ASA can force removal of non-compliant ads, which, as well as being a pain to replace, is also likely to cause bad publicity.

As an example, ads which mock a man trying and failing to look after kids or do house work (i.e. stereotypical female tasks) may be found to enforce an unfair gender stereotype and therefore contribute to the wider issue of inequality.

Moving forward, the CAP codes will be updated with new standards for advertisements to adhere to. Responsibility for complying with these codes should also be addressed in any engagement agreements.

Briffa are able to review concepts and content before they go out the door, or just provide general advice on the dos and don’ts on how to comply with the ASA’s standards. Briffa also prepare and review contracts for engagement and content. For further information contact

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