London, June 14 (IANS) Britain's Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), which is in charge of writing advertising codes across Britain, announced on Friday that its new rule banning harmful gender stereotypes in advertisements has come into force.
The new rule applies to broadcast and non-broadcast media, including online and social media, said CAP, adding that "advertisements must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence", Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the new rule, an ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically based on their gender is likely to be problematic, such as a man's inability to change nappies or a woman's inability to park a car.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) -- the country's independent regulator of advertising across all media -- will deal with any complaint and assess advertisements to determine if the new rule has been violated.
Guy Parker, Chief Executive of the ASA, said: "Our evidence shows how harmful gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to inequality in society, with costs for all of us."
Parker highlighted that some portrayals in advertisements might limit people's potential over time, adding that "it's in the interests of women and men, our economy and society that advertisers steer clear of these outdated portrayals, and we're pleased with how the industry has already begun to respond".