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Launch report: Nordic regulations to counteract sexist advertising

[Stockholm, 12 October 2016, News from our Swedish members] Sexist advertising has been on the political agenda in the Nordic countries since the 1970s. During this period, each Nordic country except Sweden introduced regulations in this area. Since then, there has been an exponential increase in the frequency of advertisements alongside digital development and the increased selection of media.

The stereotypical portrayal of women and men in advertising is a problem for both the individual and society. For the individual, sexist advertising can lead to mental health problems. Advertisements containing beauty ideals and objectification can create distorted body image, increased self-objectification, lower self-confidence and even a reduced initiative and desire to lead. To achieve an equal society, it is crucial that discrimination and images of gender stereotypes are counteracted in the media and advertising.

Since 2013, the Swedish Women’s Lobby is challenging sexist advertising through the campaign Reklamera (Ad Watch). The purpose of Reklamera is to encourage people to react and show that there are many of us who have had enough of the sexualisation of the public sphere. People can easily report any sexist advertising you come across to Reklamera. The Swedish Women’s Lobby reports the advertisement to the Swedish Advertising Ombudsman, contacts the company behind the advertising and publish information about it on Social Medias to make people aware.

In collaboration with the Reklamér and Reklamere campaigns in Denmark and Norway respectively the Swedish Women’s Lobby has analysed the content of Nordic regulations to counteract sexist advertising and how they are implemented. The result is the report “Sexist advertisement in the Nordic countries – An evaluation of regulations and implementation”.

The report was presented in the Swedish parliament the 21st of September.

The prospects of the report is that it will contribute to better regulations and more active work to combat sexist advertising and sexualisation of the public sphere. In the report, it is presented how Nordic legislation has been formulated and is observed in practice. To conclude, there are proposed recommendations for improvement.

Read the report here.

Read more about Reklamera here.

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