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Wednesday, 10 September 2008


It's interesting just what gets the Daily Mail going. Last week the European Parliament passed a report designed to prevent stereotyping of men and women in adverts.

So far, so good you may think. I for one don't particularly like seeing women in a state of undress for no particular reason or men always doing the DIY. Yes, the report does apply to images of men as well as women.

It's also not legally binding. It's an own-initiative report in European Parliament speak.

Yet the Daily Mail ran a piece attacking the EU and displayed a large picture of the Eva Herzigova Wonderbra advert which they claimed would be outlawed if the provisions in the report became law. There was also the usual Mail rant on Europe. You can't help think that the main point of this was to print the famous picture of a scantily dressed super model and use the EP report as another vehicle to have a go at the European Union.

The Mail and others missed my very important amendment to the report:
" Notes with extreme concern the advertising of sexual services which reinforces stereotypes of women as objects, in publications, such as local newspapers, which are readily visible and available to children"
The amendment, tabled by myself, was agreed by the whole European Parliament - a step on the road to ending the advertising of brothels and sexual services in family publications.


kelly-jayne said...

I am very pleased to read your blog on putting a stop to adverts which reinforce sexual stereotypes. I live in France and the adverts here are disgustingly sexist. Women are mostly naked except for a pair of knickers and men are fully clothed with statements like 'intelligent', 'charming' or 'strong'. It is in fact very difficult being surrounded by these images as a women. It feels like we are being victimised and exposed very incorrectly.

The Bug said...

Just today I was filling out a feedback form for the ASA to let them know my deep disappointment. I complained about an advert for a computer game, depicting a woman in her underwear being carried off by three soldiers, with the caption underneath "Take whatever you want with three of your closest, morally challenged friends".

The ASA felt that the humourous tone meant that few were likely to take offence.

I think it is unacceptable for rape and violence against women to be joke material in an advert - especially as it was published in three free papers- thrust into commuters hands.

How can we hope for gender equality with this constant stream of sexism? Adverts must have some effect on the way we think otherwise they wouldn't get us to part with our money.

I am really pleased that the eradication of sexism in adverts is being finally being considered by the E.U.