We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Who gave them the power to do this?

Watchdog bans ‘harmful’ gender stereotypes in adverts

25 comments to Who gave them the power to do this?

  • Who indeed? What statute do they rely upon for this authoritarian crap?

  • The Pedant-General

    Spokesperson (natch) for ASA was on R4 today programme this morning to discuss and was reasonably sanguine about this. The whole thing was a little surreal as she claimed they were responding to moves in the market shying away from strong stereotypes. When questioned on why it was necessary to ban something when it was already on the decline quite voluntarily, there was just waffle….

  • The Pedant-General


    They already have significant power to control the content of broadcast adverts, e.g. nothing adult before the watershed, nothing adult or offensive at all.

    This would appear merely to be an extension of that pre-existing – and regularly exercised – power.

  • RRS



  • Kevin B

    So the smart wife and dumb husband stereotype we see so often is going to be banned! Whoopee!

    (I know I should have put ‘partner’ instead of husband and wife and I will start using that term when someone comes up with a different noun to describe the guys I’ve played golf with for forty years.)

  • Sigivald

    The State, of course.

    And they will continue to have that power as long as the State doesn’t stop them, statutes be damned.

  • Fraser Orr

    It is laughable. The petty tyrant on R4 talking about how girls doing the dishes in an ad somehow damages her self esteem, yet over on R1 they are playing Slick Rick:

    I wouldn’t trust not girl unless she feels the same
    Treat ’em like a prostitute (Do What?)
    Don’t treat no girlie well until you’re sure of the scoop
    ‘Cause all they do is they hurt and trample

    That is art. However, “Baby it’s cold outside” is about rape culture.

    Such nonsense. What did Brits all loose the use of their thumbs so that they can’t change the channel?

  • Julie near Chicago

    I note that for once, in the very first photo, we are treated to the sight of an attractive female wearing an attractive dress that actually FITS, and that accentuates the curves in a dignified way, rather than turning her into an androgyne. YAY!!

    The rest of that photo, well, what can I say. Whoever dreamed up the Home Dec ought be stuck living forever in Ugly Seventies day-cor, with a super-ugly sorta-Fifties TV.

    I don’t believe the bit about the femme in the good-looking, properly-fitting dress who holds up the couch with complete with relaxing hubby with one hand while pushing one of those Horrid Hoovers, the upright kind, with the other. (Unfortunately these have returned to torture us all. But today’s are too heavy and awkward to push around easily.)

    [In point of fact, that first “ad” looks to me like a statement deriding what it thinks are the general cultural outlook and practices of the ’50s. I don’t think it means to advertise anything except the assumed Neanderthalic, un-woke attitudes of that era.]

    . . .

    (Removes Commercial-Art-Critic hat):

    I repeat Natalie’s tortured query and Perry’s outraged and indignant protest. It is a light unto the Masses that both restrained their language, as befits a Family Site.

    We are now censoring run-of-the-mill advertising that not only doesn’t feature Marlboro Men and sexy dolls, but that also isn’t even vaguely smutty??? What has happened to the red-blooded British male and his red-blooded British girfriend, er, companion?

    I make fun of this abortion, but it really is an abomination. Who the HELL do these people think they are!


    And by the way, in every house I know of that does the Christmas Tree, it’s Dad who gets to put it up, string the lights, and enjoy the company of the rest of the family while they all work on decorating the Tree. He is also the one who does most of the outdoor decorations, and whatever lighted displays go in the windows.

  • Gene

    These people who suffer irreparable harm from the mere sight of a photo of some other person who is allegedly being held captive in a subservient role: They have heard of World Wars I and II, have they not? They are aware of places called “Syria” or “North Korea,” are they not? Surely at some point they have learned something of the Dark Ages or the cruel slave societies of ancient Egypt or Rome? Surely they must be dimly aware that thousands of generations of humans, suffering ill-fed, sickly, short lives under oppressive tyrannical regimes, nonetheless survived, overcame hardships most 21st-century people can scarcely imagine, and did their part in creating the quite glorious modern world that the English of 2018 occupy?

    Your typical young snowflake certainly gains a measure of positive affirmation from his/her immediate acquaintances of similar mindset, but how can they look themselves in the mirror in the knowledge of the awfulness so many millions of others have survived, and not feel shame for their own unhinged whining at the sight of an advertisement?

  • George Atkisson

    Gene –

    They are woefully historically ignorant. The world has always been as they have personally experienced it. Everything before is a befuddled mishmash where men in togas are chattering with men in armor, while keeping an eye out for dinosaurs. Every situation is judged by the PC standards of 2018, and being the victim of ‘something’ gives them absolute moral authority. Perspective and logic are just social constructs and should be ignored and mocked.

    Not everyone is like this, but far too many of university graduates are.

  • pete

    This is another restriction on our freedom of speech.

    If I think making fun of men persuades some women to buy what I sell then I should be allowed to do it.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Who gave them the power to do this?”

    We did. Society has always taken upon itself the duty to ban certain material from public broadcast and print, and empowered its legislature to enforce it. It used to be ‘smut’ that we banned from publication, for fear it would corrupt the young/impressionable. Depictions of sexuality, violence, cruelty, and horror have all been subject to the censor’s scissors. Films have long had ‘certificates’ forbidding that they be shown at certain times and to certain people. TV has a ‘watershed’ time before which certain material is banned. The obscene publications act exiled material that could corrupt and deprave the morals of the young (or at least, the under-tall) to the ‘top shelf’. The protective sentiment is the same. And the history books tell us how this evolved from the pervasive censorship by Church and State that goes back even further – it’s what polemics like ‘Areopagitica’ were about, after all.

    The power itself was created centuries ago. All that’s changed is the categories of material that are forbidden.

  • Bruce

    Regarding the solution to this problem:

    Whenever three or more people are gathered to tackle such matters, one of them will be a government “agent”.

  • Eric

    An industry group with the “backing” of the government. What could go wrong?

  • Itellyounothing

    This a fairly mild facet of the censor – legal industrial complex in the UK really. So called hate speech is a far bigger problem. From the emotive reasoning path most people seem to operate with, it does not seem a great point to roll back the state. I don’t love admitting it but TR with migration and cultural invasion is more likely to win the masses than advertising watch dogs overreach.

  • Well, at least we can now look forward to more howlers like this one:


  • Rob

    If they are going to ban adverts showing dumb men and smart women, then the commercial TV companies will be bankrupt within six months.

    Note how the BBC even-handedly doesn’t bother giving any opposing point of view in that article. For them, this is a perfectly natural thing and they cannot even conceive the idea that people might think it is wrong.

  • Paul Marks

    The “Advertising Standards Authority” like the “Electoral Commission” and “Ofcom” (the last entrusted with the duty of making sure that all television stations are leftist) was created by Parliament – although most Members of Parliament at the time were (most likely) totally unaware of what they were nodding into existence.

    John Locke argued that Parliament operates only on power delegated from the people – and can not further delegate this power to some other individual or body.

    Chief Justice Hewart warned in 1929 (in “The New Despotism”) that for Parliament to give the power to create regulations (rules with the force of LAW) to Civil Servants or other unelected people (not subject to the control of the people) was incredibly dangerous.

    The American Supreme Court decided in 1935 (nine votes to zero) that the “National Recovery Administration” (the Blue Eagle thugs – created by President Franklin Roosevelt in imitation of Fascist Italy, the “New Deal” being an effort to turn the United States into a Fascist country) was unconstitutional – because it could make laws without the specific approval of Congress under a vague Enabling Act of Congress. In National Socialist Germany the Enabling Act of 1933 was just accepted by the courts – so everything that Mr Hitler did from 1933 to 1945 was “legal” because the German Parliament had passed a “Enabling Law” allowing him to pass regulations – much like “Ofcom” or the “Electoral Commission” or the “Advertising Standards Authority”.

    In the future when some Quango or other is ordering that every sighted person have their eyes ripped out, some people may complain to Members of Parliament, but the Members of Parliament will reply “it is not us ordering that your eyes be ripped out – it is Xyzitz a Quango set up to ensure Social Justice, and Xyzitz has decided that it is unfair (inegalitarian) for some people to be able to see and others to be blind, so it has decided that everyone should be blind”. “But you created Xyitz!” – “oh yes we did create Xyitz, but it has full administrative autonomy which-is-only-fair, now hurry along and have your eyes ripped out, your complaints are horribly old fashioned, and Xyitz is made up of dedicated public servants only trying to do their job – do you not know that HISTORY HAS NO REVERSE GEAR!”

    Do not laugh, as this (or something rather like it) is going to happen. Indeed Mrs May may have proposals (after full and fair consultation – of course) to create Xyitz, along with a new regulation making everyone put their food waste into a special new bin. Which will be difficult to do when everyone has their eyes ripped out (in order to ensure equality – social justice), but I am sure we will all muddle through.

  • lucklucky

    This is the The Telegraph approving Government censorship:


    Do not forget when they will cry for “free speech”…

  • Jay Thomas


    This passage in a Guardian column on these new rules jumped out at me.

    The rules will also ban adverts that suggest that transforming your body will make you romantically successful..

    Of all the strategies available to improve your romantic batting average, I’d have thought transforming your body was one of the more effective ones. Apparently I was mistaken.

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    I’d have been happy if they just got rid of the stereotype of families sat down all grinning like demented loons just because they are having fish fingers for their evening meal.

    Oh yes, and the proliferation of TV ads showing black males/white women in romantic adventures on sofas could be trimmed down just a little.

  • pete

    In a few years the facial recognition cameras in the streets will be able to tell if men steal glances at as many fat ugly women as at slender, pretty ones.

    Failure to do so will be a hate crime.

  • The whole situation with the powers of the ASA and CAP is very murky. An expose is desperately needed. I’m going to do a bit more research on them.

  • tomo

    The ASA …. from 4 years ago – but still applies.

  • Yeah, I’d seen that recently, Tomo, via Delingpole. Doesn’t really make matters that clear.