Philadelphia cream cheese, Volkswagen Golf first UK ads banned under new gender rules

Two ads in the United Kingdom have become the first to be banned for breaking new rules prohibiting gender stereotyping.

Ads for Philadelphia cream cheese and the Volkswagen Golf have been pinged for featuring bumbling dads and a mother with a pram.

The new rules were brought in earlier this year after research found stereotypes in ads "restrict the choices, aspirations and opportunities of children, young people and adults".

Mondelez UK, which owns Philadelphia, defended its ad and claimed the decision to feature two dads was an attempt to avoid stereotypes.

The ad showed the two dads meeting up at a restaurant and accidentally losing their babies on a conveyor belt, promising not to tell the children's mother about the incident.

"[It] relied on the stereotype that men were unable to care for children as well as women, and implied that the fathers had failed to look after the children properly because of their gender," the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said. 

The ASA received 128 complaints about the ad, the BBC reports. 

It received three about an ad for the Volkswagen E-Golf, which showed men floating in space and doing long jumps.

Two women featured in the ad - one sleeping in a tent, the other sitting in a park next to a pram. Complainants said it was unfair to feature men being adventurous while the women were either passive or in a caregiving role. 

Volkswagen claimed the ad showed that caring for a newborn was a life-changing experience about adaptation, regardless of the parent's gender, but the ASA wasn't having it.

"The ad presented gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm," it concluded.


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