EASA and its members work together to ensure that gender is portrayed responsibly in advertising.

The subject of stereotypical portrayal of men and, more specifically, women in advertising has provoked much public debate over the last 25 years. EASA believes that it is important that women and men are portrayed positively and responsibly in advertising and that issues around the portrayal of gender should be handled with care in all marketing communications.

Rules regarding responsible portrayal of gender fall under article 4 ‘Social Responsibility’ of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Consolidated Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice (2011), which states that “Marketing communications should respect human dignity and should not incite or condone any form of discrimination, including that based upon race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation”.

All the European national codes of advertising practice incorporate article 4 of the ICC Code and many go further, with specific rules on the portrayal of gender. The differing rules to be found in different countries reflect the varied cultural values and social customs which exist within the EU and wider Europe.