ASCI joins UN Women's gender programme Unstereotype Alliance

ASCI joins UN Women's gender programme Unstereotype Alliance

The programme seeks to unite industry leaders globally to end gender-based stereotyping in ads.


MUMBAI: Advertising industry watchdog Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Monday announced that it has become a founding ally of the UN Women’s gender-based programme called Unstereotype Alliance. UN Women is a United Nations entity for gender equality and women's empowerment.

"After announcing a nationwide GenderNext study, ASCI is pleased to announce that we are now a founding ally of the UN women’s programme, the UNstereotype Alliance," ASCI said in a tweet.

A thought and action platform, Unstereotype Alliance aims to remove negative stereotypes around women in the media and advertising content. The programme unites industry leaders, decision-makers and creatives globally to end harmful gender-based stereotyping in advertising. The alliance contributes to empowering women in all their diversity (race, class, age, ability, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, language, education, etc.) and addressing harmful masculinities to help create a gender equal world. The launch of the India chapter of the programme is scheduled for 30 March.

ASCI has shifted its focus to gender portrayal after recently preparing guidelines on influencer marketing, online gaming and covid-related advertising in India. Just last week, the ad industry regulator had, in association with Futurebrands, launched its first ever deep, immersive dive into gender depiction in Indian advertising. The study titled ‘GenderNext’ aims to provide actionable insights that can shape the gender narratives in advertising positively, ASCI said. The study is the first of several initiatives ASCI aims to undertake in 2021 as part of a year-long focus on gender, the regulator said.

The report, which is set to be released in September, will study more than 200 national and regional advertisements published in the past few years. ASCI said it plans to expand its existing advertising code using the study findings. To unravel gender narratives in advertising, to evolve and enrich gender understanding in the context of cultural change and to provide insights to navigate and embrace positive narratives for women in advertising content were listed as some of the main objectives behind the exercise. With this new found alliance, the advertising regulator hopes to further expand its gender agenda.