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Oct 31

What is the ad industry’s role in breaking gender stereotypes in advertising?

With all the stereotyping in society today, should the ad industry be held responsible for breaking gender stereotypes in their advertisements? Opinions are mixed on whether they should or not. However, according to the results for the Gender Stereotype Survey, more than a third of respondents don’t feel strongly either way. But, there was 37% of respondents that agreed the advertising industry has a responsibility not to use gender stereotypes. This split in opinions was also reflected in respondent’s final thoughts on the issue of gender stereotypes in advertising.

“I do wish that gender stereotypes were less common in advertisements, but I do NOT believe that advertisers have a “duty” to do away with them. Advertisers are just trying to sell products.” –Female, 18-29

“Gender stereotyping is too easy, too 1950s and too much, these days, aimed for the easy laugh. Time for the ad industry to grow up.” –Male, 45-59

On the other side is whether the ad industry should be gender stereotyping children versus adult products. While many agree that advertisements, whether featuring children or adults, shouldn’t use gender stereotypes, it is certainly not a consensus. A notable portion of respondents do not agree or do not have an opinion either.

However, almost half of respondents agreed that advertisements featuring children should not use gender stereotypes.

“If you show children that it matters when they are younger, they will likely grow up feeling that way too and it might be hard to change how they see things later.” –Female, 18-29

Based on these numbers, advertisers should look to do away with gender stereotypes, whether it’s focused on an adult or child.

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