As reported by Associated Press and the Washington Post, French advertisers and the country’s broadcast watchdog, the Superior Audiovisual Council, have launched a plan to fight sexist stereotypes in ads. Companies that rely on stereotypical clichés in their ads will be publicly outed. The plan also requires broadcasters and advertisers to report on their own efforts, and will face sanctions for using excessively sexist ads.
Although some marketers (reportedly those in the fashion industry in particular) are concerned about the potential curtailment of their artistic freedom, the effort is gaining support, particularly in the wake of the #MeToo movement and heightened awareness of sexual violence and harassment.
“Nudity can be acceptable” in advertising for bathtubs and body creams, for example — “but not to sell a car,” Stephane Martin told The Associated Press.