UK bans cream cheese ad because of ‘dopey dad’ stereotype

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An advertisement for cream cheese showing distracted dads leaving babies on a conveyer belt was banned by Britain’s ad regulator Wednesday under new rules against harmful gender stereotypes.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the ad for Philadelphia cream cheese “relied on the stereotype that men were unable to care for children as well as women and implied that the fathers had failed to look after the children properly because of their gender.”

Parent company Mondelez UK argued that the ad shows a positive image of men taking a responsible and active role in childcare. It said it was “extremely disappointed” with the decision.

Wednesday’s rulings are the first under rules that took effect in June barring “gender stereotypes which are likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offense.” Examples given by the Advertising Standards Authority include depictions of a man failing to change a diaper or a woman unable to park a car or ads that suggest women are solely responsible for cooking and cleaning.

The advertising authority doesn’t have the power to impose fines, but British broadcasters are bound by the terms of their licenses to comply with its rulings.

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