The current climate
The #timesup, #metoo and #unstereotype movements are symptomatic of global cultural shifts around gender equality and representation, so the debate about gender dynamics in advertising feels big and timely.
After all, advertising has a powerful role to play in shaping our culture. Data gathered over many years by the ASA shows that advertising creates expectations about how people should behave or look according to their gender, and these expectations can be internalised. We also know that stereotypes in advertising constrain can women's perceptions of roles they see themselves playing, and lead to lower adoption of those brands.
And yet there are still twice as many male characters as female characters in TV ads globally. Where there are men and women sharing screen space, men are shown about four times more than women. Of those characters shown as employed and having jobs, 75% of them are men and 25% of them are women.