I am not a casual sexist – my sexism is calculated and determined… – but why shouldn’t the advertising world acknowledge interesting distinctions between the sexes?
Last month, Unilever, manufacturers of cosmetics, cleaning products and edible fats (and one of the world’s biggest spenders on advertising), pledged to stop using sexist stereotypes in its commercials. From now on, its adverts for products such as Dove soap, Radox shower gels and Sunsilk hairspray, will portray more “authentic and three-dimensional” women reflective of new advances in gender equality.
At Cannes Lions, the advertising industry’s annual Mediterranean love-in last week, Unilever marketing director Keith Weed revealed that just two per cent of advertising presents women as intelligent or managerial. His plan to disrupt the ugly convention of portraying women as a docile and compliant playthings has begun with a revamp of the campaign for Lynx deodorant.