EU calls for the removal of gender stereotypes in ads

The European Parliament is calling on member states to tackle the issue of gender stereotypes in advertising by introducing public information campaigns.

An EU report, drafted by the Women's Rights Committee, was adopted by a large majority in the European Parliament this week and pushes for education initiatives to be introduced to "combat the structurally embedded stereotype images of women and men we find all around us".

The report argues that gender stereotypes are used in advertising to the "financial gain of big business" and that women have "suffered" by being "represented as objects". It also calls on member states to monitor ad campaigns and to remove "stereotyped and degrading" images of women from advertising, while introducing regulatory measures to "promote balanced and diverse portrayals of women by the media".

The use of nudity and noticeably thin women in ad campaigns are two areas the report recommends especially close policing of. The report also highlighted digital media as a particular concern.