A Philadelphia cream cheese ad could soon be banned, under new regulations relating to stereotypes put in place by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The cream cheese ad shows two new fathers that become distracted once they indulge in the cheese and leave their babies on a conveyer belt.
But the ad is now under fire, with the ASA revealing it had received 32 complaints regarding the ‘dopey dad’ bit.
“We are currently assessing the complaints to determine whether there are grounds for further action,” an ASA spokesperson told The Telegraph.
The complaints largely relate to a new rule the authority put in place this month, that bans “harmful gender stereotypes in ads”.
“Complainants have challenged whether the ads break our new rule banning harmful gender stereotypes by implying that fathers are not capable of caring for babies as well as mothers,” said the ASA spokesperson.
The new rules do not ban the concept of gender stereotypes entirely, rather they focus on adverts where these stereotypes.
The ASA specifically gives the example of: “An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender e.g. a man’s inability to change nappies; a woman’s inability to park a car,” as an ad likely to be problematic under the new rule.
A spokesperson from Mondelez International – the owner of Philadelphia – said: “It was never our intention to cause any offence with our new Philadelphia advert.”
“We take our advertising responsibility very seriously and work with a range of partners to make sure our marketing meets and complies with UK regulation.
“This includes pre-approval from a recognised television advertising body, before it is aired to the public.”