So, your town, Stockholm is poised to ban sexist outdoor advertising… Of course people have a lot of opinions on this sensitive topic - some in favour, some against, some in between.
Interestingly, this is not a new idea. A similar initiative in was done Paris a year ago, when the city council voted to ban sexist, or otherwise degrading, adverts and public billboards, following a controversial campaign by YSL (see the third image above). Adverts promoting negative body images were banned across the Transport for London (TfL) network in 2016.
Also interestingly, Sweden is worst in the Nordics when it comes to gender images, due to being the only country in the region lacking any legislation against sexism and stereotyping in advertising. This move in Stockholm follows just over ten years of debates that have so far failed to stamp out discrimination in the advertising industry.
To me, it seems that advertising self-regulation is not working well enough or fast enough. We need to so something. Just take a look at some recent advertisements above (along with some good Twitter comments underneath). I think Twitter is really important for helping to raise awareness. Recently I called out this sexist ad:
This ban in Stockholm will at least have advertisers think about the way women vs men are portrayed in their ads. It has the potential to do a lot of good, and I cannot see it causing any harm.
Finally, my last image above is an Electrolux ad from Sweden in 2013. It is the first time I have seen an ad for a cleaning product that does not feature the mum anywhere. With a bit of pressure, there is hope!