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Volkswagen & Philadelphia Cream Cheese Ads Banned In The UK For Being ‘Sexist’
By Mikelle Leow, 15 Aug 2019
Video screenshot via Volkswagen UK
Commercials by Volkswagen and Philadelphia cream cheese have been banned in the UK following newly-implemented advertising regulations.
In June, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which controls the UK Advertising Codes, started clamping down on adverts that perpetuate “harmful gender stereotypes,” explaining that such conditioning could hinder the aspirations and opportunities of men and women.
It has thus made the decision to prohibit Volkswagen from further publishing a spot perceived to be depicting males as the more adventurous gender, while women are portrayed as “delicate or dainty.”
The automaker’s ad shows two male astronauts in space, in addition to a male athlete performing the long jump with his prosthetic leg. The video then cuts to a mother seated on a bench with a baby stroller, who the ASA describes to be “engaged in a stereotypical care-giving role.”
The ad received three complaints. The ASA concludes, “By juxtaposing images of men in extraordinary environments… with women who appeared passive or engaged in a stereotypical care-giving role, we considered that the ad… gave the impression that they were exclusively associated with one gender.”
The ad watchdog has also enforced a ban on a commercial by Philadelphia cream cheese that portrays two dads taking care of their children at a restaurant. They are so focused on their food, that they fail to notice their babies taking a whirl on the restaurant’s conveyor belt. “Let’s not tell mom,” one of the dads says.
The ASA rules that while the advert—which received over 125 complaints—was meant to be “lighthearted and comical,” and that “there was no sense that the children were in danger,” the two men “were portrayed as somewhat hapless and inattentive, which resulted in them being unable to care for the children effectively.”
A representative of Mondelēz International, parent company of Philadelphia cream cheese, expresses that the brand feels “extremely disappointed” by the ban, emphasizing that the company takes its campaign messages “very seriously,” and that it works with several partners “to make sure our marketing meets and complies with all UK regulations.”
[via CNN Business, video via Robert Pearson - Canada / Worldwide, cover image via Volkswagen UK]
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