Are women stereotyped in adverts on Irish television channels & do Irish women feel the current adverts represent them? /
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This research is to analyse the level of stereotyping in advertisements on Irish television channels, with particular emphasis on the stereotyping of women. It will also assess the use of a new trend in advertising called pro-female or ‘femvertising’. Femvertising is defined by SheKnows Media, as “advertising that employs pro-female talent, messages and imagery to empower women and girls”. Women have more dominant purchasing power, women’s economic influence as wealth creators and controllers continues to rise. Women’s global incomes are predicted to reach $18 trillion by 2018. Half of all products marketed to men are actually purchased by women (Skey, 2014). Thus marketing to women is changing, advertising campaigns now need to be diverse and inclusive. This thesis will review what’s driving this change and will analyse and assess Irish women perception of its use. The results revealed that traditional adverts showing women in stereotypical role are still the most dominant adverts on Irish television channels. More adverts show women in the home and in parenting roles then men. There are more adverts with a man as the central character in the advert and there are more adverts with a man’s voice over on Irish Television channels. For high cost products and financial products adverts are aimed at and included only men. By contrast women were the main characters in adverts for low cost products. No advert showed a women in the workplace. The research also found that Irish women are aware of this stereotyping and find it insulting and aggravating. They do not believe that the current adverts show a true portrayal of Irish women and their current role in society. They also believe these adverts negatively impact how women are view in the workplace. They are aware of pro-female adverts and respond well to them and are more likely to purchase products using this style of advertising. The gender roles that were made many years prior have damaged the culture of today. They affect economy by creating a wage gap between males and females, even when the job and credentials are the same. They affect the way a person is raised and how they preserve themselves by labelling traits and behaviours as female or male. Gender roles and stereotypes may not seem like much, but the impact that they have will last for many generations to come (Jones, 2016).’ Recommendations are that more companies need to adopt pro-female marketing campaigns but that they should also be authentic. Advertisements need to stop showing women in stereotypical roles and start reflecting modern women and men roles in society. The Advertising Standards of Ireland should also provide guidelines prevent stereotyping and seriously address breeches of these guidelines. Ads sell much more than products and services. They push values and concepts of what success, family, beauty, happiness, love, femininity and masculinity should look and feel like in today's society (Skey, 2014).
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