Concerns over depiction of women in advertisements

Chennai: To help brands and advertising agencies shape gender narratives in a positive way, The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and Futurebrands, have unveiled the GenderNext study – a comprehensive actionable insight study on the representation of women in advertising.

According to Lipika Kumaran, the lead author of GenderNext, the study reveals that while there are some positive moves, mainstream advertising still heavily borrows from an inventory of overused, and sometimes harmful stereotypical tropes.

A detailed study of over six hundred advertisements revealed several problematic tropes- such as sensualising the act of eating by women, showing women as spenders in financial advertising, women running around the house while others lounge around, male gaze acceptance in beauty ads,, showing women as lower down in tech-hierarchy in gadget ads, male celebrities challenging and instructing women among many others.

Women interviewed across different life stages and town classes pointed out that it is not them but others in their sphere who lag behind them, and they are the ones in need of empowerment.


NT Bureau