Smashing Stereotypes in Advertising: Blueprint for action 

Smashing Stereotypes in Advertising is a new guide published by The Fawcett Society and LIONS.

It draws on landmark research by The Fawcett Society’s Commission for Gender Stereotypes, Unlimited Potential, and supports advertising, marketing and communications practitioners who want to actively challenge gender stereotypes throughout the creative process.

The guidelines provide a blueprint for action, from pitching and story-boarding to styling and casting. It presents case studies and checklist for the creative industry to draw upon at every stage. 

Download the Smashing Stereotypes in Advertising Guidelines here

How can advertising and marketing practitioners make change? 

This guide will help advertising and marketing professionals identify opportunities in every step of the creative journey to actively challenge gender stereotypes. It provides the tools needed to step in and create powerful pieces of work that challenge outdated stigmas. While big statements about equality and inclusion can be impactful, smashing gender stereotypes can also be as simple as changing a colour scheme on set or tweaking the script.

Creative marketing presents wonderful storytelling opportunities to expand what is acceptable for girls and boys to be. Work that surprises the audience by diverging from the norm are known to be more memorable and impactful, delivering more effective engagement and quite simply, better marketing.

This blueprint for action supports advertising and marketing practitioners to smash stereotypes one step at a time.

Our Smash Stereotypes campaign 

The Smashing Stereotypes in Advertising guidelines is part of our #SmashStereotypes campaign and includes:

  • The Commission On Gender Stereotypes in Early Childhood: the first of its kind in the UK, bringing together experts from across sectors including education, parenting and the commercial world to establish how, as a society, we can end gender stereotyping.
  • Unlimited Potential: the final report of the Commission on Gender Stereotypes in Early Childhood that sets out how gender expectations significantly limit our children, causing problems such as lower self-esteem in girls and poorer reading skills in boys. 
  • Gender Stereotypes in Advertising Literature Review: bringing together what we know about where and how gender is replicated in each new generation of children: and what can and is being done to change it. 

You can find out more about the Smash Stereotypes campaign here.