It’s time for advertising
to get real.

Exposure to
advertising is

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We see as many as 5000 ads every day. Sometimes even 500 before breakfast.

Ads make their way into our private lives as much as our public spaces.

While not all ads scream inequality, sexism can be sneaky. It weaves itself into storylines in subtle ways.

But these subtleties hold great significance when we’re exposed to them each and every day, over and over again.

They start to inform the way we see ourselves and each other. At best, the ideas we’re left with are limiting. At worst, they’re outright dangerous.

Sexist advertising is a form of gender inequality. And gender inequality is linked to violence against women.


The way advertising portrays people is far from representative of society. Most characters are young, white, able-bodied and heterosexual, and there are twice as many males as there are females.

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Gender stereotypes

Storytelling often relies on stereotypes to help communicate an idea quickly and clearly. But one-dimensional portrayals of people within advertising limit the way they’re viewed and valued in society too.

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Industry awareness of gender inequality is on the rise, yet women are increasingly being sexualised and objectified in advertising and expected to conform to narrow and unrealistic beauty ideals.

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Advertising needs to change. And fast.


Our national strategic framework for championing gender equality in advertising, Seeing is Believing, provides a blueprint for long-term change.

Download Seeing is Believing

Advertising needs to get real

Discrimination doesn’t just happen on the basis of gender. For that reason, advertising doesn’t just need to show more women, but to represent the true diversity of women as well.

By painting a better, more diverse, realistic and inspiring picture of girls and women, we can create a social shift towards gender equality and ending violence against women.

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