With the new guidelines, Britain joins countries like Belgium, France, Finland, Greece, Norway, South Africa and India, which have laws or codes of varying degrees and age that prevent gender discrimination in ads. Norway, for example, has had a law prohibiting sexism in ads since 1978. A 2004 Spanish law against gender violence prohibits ads from showing degrading images of a woman’s body, and Austrian codes consider depictions that reduce a person to their sexuality discriminatory. In the U.S., guidelines on stereotypes in advertising are only offered by the group that oversees ads that target children.
Companies are reckoning with the problem of sexism in advertising on their own as well. In 2017, the consumer goods giant Unilever partnered with UN Women and a host of major corporations, including Google, Johnson & Johnson and Mars, to create the Unstereotype Alliance, which seeks to educate people on how advertising perpetuates biases.
U.K. Bans Advertisements Depicting Gender Stereotypes – The New York Times