If you ever look at the dates on these posts you’ll have noticed I haven’t written a lot recently. It’s because I am lazy and so I have decided to give myself a jump start. This involves ‘ring fencing’ (yes, I know it’s a term only regularly used by tossers) 15 minutes to splat down whatever’s on my tiny, tiny mind and today the subject is gender stereotypes and the influence of advertising.
On Radio 4 this morning it was announced that some regulating body or other will be banning or at least ‘scrutinising’ certain adverts which promote the idea that women should do certain jobs and men others. Examples include the very manly Yorkie advert (of yore) which basically suggests that men are tough guys who drive trucks and need a slightly more chunky chunk of chocolate, a chunk of such overpowering proportions it would obviously overwhelm a mere woman. I see no problem with this since most male truck drivers are invariably sociopaths, insomniacs or morbidly obese and experience regular heart ‘flutters’ at 70 miles an hour on the M1. Or all three at once. And what self-respecting woman would want to be like that?
Elsewhere, the Fairy Liquid adverts (of yesteryear) are cited as a good/bad examples of promoting the assumption that women should do the washing up and also that men who do the washing up are only doing it to acquire soft hands. Personally I do more than my fair share of washing up and always wear a pair of large, bright yellow marigolds (true) yet if you met me you’d assume I was one step away from winning employee of the month at Eddie Stobarts. Confusing!
Nanette Newman came on the radio to say her piece but it wasn’t altogether convincing because at one point she asserted that many adverts were so well made and presented these days that they almost counted as just an extension of our daily entertainment. There I must draw a line. Adverts are a crime against evolution and should ALL be banned immediately. They exist to generate money and little more beyond that. Entertainment they ain’t.
To finish (I have about 2 minutes left) I point you towards a current Halifax advert which attempts to lure (grown up) customers by using characters from The Flintstones. The gormless prick that came up with this idea is beyond forgiveness. Even worse is that there may just be someone out there, a fully grown adult I should add, that will actually consider applying for a Halifax account on the basis that Fred and Wilma ‘made them do it’. The irony, I suppose, being that any adult stupid enough to sign up to a bank account on the basis of a third rate, long binned cartoon is unlikely to have the starting funds to do so. Many cretins on both sides involved.
Gender stereotypes may be awful but in the world of advertising there will never be a cure for true stupidity.
G B Hewitt. 18.07.2017
15 minutes to write. A lifetime to edit.