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Tuesday, 2 December 2008


Yesterday I heard back from the British Advertising Standards Authority regarding the complaint I lodged against Ryanair's latest bout of sexist advertising. Because Ryanair's publicity emails were sent out from the company's headquarters, it is the Irish ASA that I need to contact with my complaint.

What is exciting is that the Irish ASA has a clause in its code of advertising standards stating:

'Marketing communications should respect the principle of the equality of men and women. They should avoid sex stereotyping and any exploitation or demeaning of men and women. '

The UK code does not have this, despite the calls earlier this year from the parliamentary Gender Equality committee for all European advertising monitors to address gender stereotyping. In fact, the British ASA contacted me in July to say that a clause on gender stereotyping would not be necessary. They argued the ASA code already provides sufficient regulation to ensure that advertising is not discriminatory or harmful to women.

Ryanair's recent advertising proves the British ASA wrong. Adverts containing harmful stereotypes persist. I have written to the Irish ASA to complain against the adverts. But I shall also find out whether Ryanair used the same publicity in Ireland as in the UK. I want to know why Irish women are protected from this advertising, but not British women.

If you would like to see the text of my letter to the ASAI, please join the facebook group below:

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