Skip to Content

Screenshot from VW ad banned by ASA.

UK advertising authority bans white heterosexual ad as ‘harmful’

The first advertisement banned from television in the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority for portraying "gender-stereotypical activities" was an ad showing heterosexual white men and women.

Published: August 15, 2019, 8:26 am

    London

    The ad from Volkswagen shows a white woman raising a baby.

    The Guardian reported that the ad for Volkswagen’s electric eGolf vehicle showed a series of scenes including a white couple in a tent on a sheer cliff face, two white male astronauts, a white male para-athlete and a white woman sitting on a bench next to a baby push chair.

    The text in the ad announces: “When we learn to adapt we can achieve anything.”

    But complainants said the ad showed men engaged in adventurous activities, that unlike her male counterpart, the female rock climber was “passive” because she was asleep, and that the woman with the push chair was depicted in a “stereotypical care-giving role”.

    Volkswagen has rejected the complaints claiming that the ad was “sexist” and added that caring for a newborn was a life-changing experience about adaptation, regardless of the gender of the parent depicted.

    The British ASA nevertheless “concluded that the ad presented gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm”.

    Industry experts were shocked to learn about the ban. “It is concerning to see the ASA take on the role of the morality police,” said Geraint Lloyd-Taylor from the law firm Lewis Silkin. “It has let its zeal to enforce the new rules override its common sense in this first batch of rulings.

    “The ASA seems to be out of sync with society in general. As it stands, the ASA’s definition of ‘harm’ is unworkable and urgently needs to be clarified. I hope that these advertisers seek an independent review of the latest decisions.”

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) introduced new rules at the beginning of the year to ban the depiction of men and women engaged in gender-stereotypical in order to stop “limiting how people see themselves and how others see them and the life decisions they take”.

    They have also banned the ad for Philadelphia cream cheese, following complaints “from the public” that they perpetuated harmful stereotypes.

    The Philadelphia cream cheese commercial showed two white dads looking after their children at a restaurant with a conveyer belt.

    The men become so distracted by the good food that they momentarily forget about their children, who end up circling the restaurant on the belt. “Let’s not tell mom,” says one.

    “We acknowledged the action was intended to be light-hearted and comical and there was no sense that the children were in danger,” the ASA said in its decision.

    “We considered, however, that the men were portrayed as somewhat hapless and inattentive, which resulted in them being unable to care for the children effectively,” they added. “We did not consider that the use of humour in the ad mitigated the effect of the harmful stereotype.”

    Neither of the two commercials can now appear in its current form following the ruling.

    [mashshare]

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • Mike Smith

      This is the road we are going down. Normal things are now abnormal, while the perverted is the new normal. Black people are hugely over represented on UK tv ads. There is somthing very sinister at work, white British people will soon have to be deported.

    • Nexusfast123

      Civilization is starting its long winding road to collapse.

    Europe

    Prosecutors launch new legal assault on Salvini

    RomeAfter the Diciotti case, another legal assault is being launched against Matteo Salvini. Salvini faced between three and five years in prison for having stopped illegal migrants from the vessel landing in Italy.

    Germany: Tens of thousands take part in climate strike

    BerlinSeveral tens of thousands of people took part in the "climate strike" in various German cities. In the federal capital, according to the organisers of "Fridays for the Future" some 270 000 demonstrators came to the rally in front of the Brandenburg Gate. The police spoke of "well over 10 000".

    Russia bolsters Arctic missile defenses after US threats

    MoscowRussia has placed missile defense systems at the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in an effort to bolster its military presence in the Arctic, AFP reported. And in France, the issue also received attention.

    Daily terror at German ‘peace’ school

    GubinGerman parents in Guben have reported the aggressive behavior of two sixth-grade migrant students and have asked authorities for urgent support because the situation is so bad.

    Salvini wants referendum to stop leftist coalition from opening ports

    PontidaAddressing a crowd of 80 000 supporters, Italian League leader, Senator Matteo Salvini called for a referendum on immigration to stop the new government from reopening Italy’s ports to pro-immigration NGOs.

    Heidelberg: Ignorance is the drug of choice

    HeidelbergAnyone who has heard of Heidelberg in Germany, probably thinks of a tranquil little town on the Neckar river, a place full of beautiful sights, a well-preserved historic centre with many tourists and students. But that perfect world has been shattered by the recent case from the district of Emmertsgrund.

    German President launches fresh attack on AfD

    BerlinThe AfD rejected the criticism from Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier stating that the Alternative for Germany was not a bourgeois party. "A Federal President should not interfere in the party politics," said the AfD chairman Alexander Gauland.

    The city of Pescara celebrates its soldier-poet Gabriele D’Annunzio

    PescaraFrom September 7 to 15, Pescara, the capital city of Italian Abruzzo region, will celebrate la Festa della Rivoluzione – d’Annunzio torna a Pescara [Revolution festival – d’Annunzio returns to Pescara]. His legacy has inspired Italian sovereignists.

    Betrayal by Bannon

    A story of failures: How Steve Bannon tried to split the Vatican and dragged Matteo Salvini into his misfortune.

    Antwerp: Vlaams Belang leader denounces Islam from rooftops

    Antwerp Flemish Member of Parliament and Antwerp City Councilor Filip Dewinter climbed onto the roof of the Antwerp town hall to highlight the Flemish port city's demography.

    Go to archive