New Testing Tool Lets Advertisers Know If Their Ads Are Sexist

New Testing Tool Lets Advertisers Know If Their Ads Are Sexist

Global video marketplace Unruly has launched a new insight tool that tests to see whether an ad is sexist or not.

To mark International Women’s Day, the company has created a stereotype analysis as part of its content testing solution, UnrulyEQ Max, which evaluates whether the ad’s content reinforces harmful gender stereotypes of women and men.

Examples include ads that objectify people’s bodies or show certain occupations or roles being more suitable for a particular gender.

Ads are scored using a traffic light system, with content deemed to be sexist given a red light.

The announcement comes at a time when the UK’s advertising watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is cracking down on sexist advertising following a report by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), its sister organisation, arguing for tougher regulation of gender stereotypes in ads.

Recent research suggests the ad industry is guilty of “forgetting about women”, with ads twice as likely to feature male characters than female characters, and women 48 per cent more likely to be shown in the kitchen (source: JWT New York and The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media).

The report, which analysed more than 2,000 films from Cannes Lions, revealed that men were 62 per cent more likely to be shown as smart and one in three men was shown to have an occupation compared to one in four women.

Research released by Unilever also found that only three pre cent  of ads feature women in leadership or professional roles, and one per cent show women as funny.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent of UK women say that advertising makes them think they’re not good enough, while some women are switching off from advertising altogether, with recent research by the JWT London Innovation Group finding that nearly three-quarters of women over the age of 50 shun all forms of advertising.

Commenting on the study, Unruly’s managing director AUNZ, Ricky Chanana said, “The ad industry could be argued to be failing women. Australia was one of the first developed countries to allow women to vote as far back as 1902.  A century has passed since this right was won in the UK and next year it will be the 100-year anniversary of the women’s vote in the US, but in advertising we still have a long way to go.

“How can the ad industry hope to engage consumers when what it presents is not an accurate, authentic portrayal of gender roles in the 21st Century? Our new stereotype analysis will help advertisers unstereotype their video campaigns and create content that engages consumers.”

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