Advertisement ruled against for showing a ‘negative stereotype of husbands’
The dumb, lazy husband figure has long been a fixture of both pop culture think Homer Simpson and Phil Dunphy of Modern Family and advertising.But not anymore.
Australia’s Advertising Standards Board (ABS) has ruled against an advertisement from a pest control company, saying it “features a negative stereotype of husbands,” according to a recent determination.
The radio ad by Allpest, shows a woman calling the company and asking what kind of pests they get rid of, including the line “what about my husband?”
Acting on a single complaint that the ad was a case of gender discrimination, the majority of the board “felt that community standards in this area have changed, and that this style of humour was no longer acceptable.”
According to Mumbrella, the Board has previously cleared complaints about how men are portrayed in ads. Now its determination could change how advertisers script men.
The news follows a previous ABS decision, made last year, to ban an ad for dating website Ashley Madison.
The Ashley Madison ad, which has men saying they’re “looking for someone else other my wife” was ruled to have “discriminated against wives.”
“The majority of the Board however considered that the emphasis on the term ‘wife’ gave a strong message that ‘wives’ are inadequate or somehow lacking and that this suggestion is degrading to wives and does amount to material that demeans or makes people think less of wives,” the determination stated.
On the Allpest hoo-ha, the Board wrote: “Consistent with the previous[Ashley Madison] determination the Board considered that this statement singles out husbands as a group ofpeople and implies that they are pests and need to be gotten rid of.”
The decision was met with disappointment from Allpest, who maintain the ad, which is no longer on air was “tongue in cheek” and that it continues to receive praise from the public, including an industry award in 2015.
The report stated a minority of the Board said the ad “was consistent with acceptable family banter” and it “did not suggest that the woman’s joke should be taken seriously, and that there was no malice or suggestion that she wished to hurt her husband.”