ASCI: Issue gender sensitive guidelines for advertising companies and accredit them.

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I will never watch a commercial ad with my parents again!

Arriving the kind that encouraged prejudice or the ones that glorifies certain stereotypes. The last time, when we were watching the television, an ABP Wedding advertisement changed my father's mind. He wanted me to register on the portal.

It is not a new phenomenon, but over the years, matrimony brands have taken a very narrow creative approach and it has always been about the girl or her father trying to search for the prospective groom.

If such notions have to change then apart from you and me, the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) , a self regulatory voluntary organization of the advertising industry, needs to play a big hand. Because if you scroll down memory, I am sure you will agree that most of the commercials have colored the thought process of people, defining the structure of family as protector, caregiver, support and togetherness.

The Advertising Standard Council of India  must help remove gender stereotypes and enhance the public's confidence in advertising. Honesty, Decency, Responsibility and Fairness are some principles ASCI has always stood for.

For ASCI to become a more responsive and powerful body, it must ensure better regulation.

Here are some suggestions for greater gender sensitivity in commercials that ASCI can prescribe:  

  1. Project womxn in the lead role, not as a principal advisor but as a principal buyer of an insurance / product, thereby investing money.
  2. Married daughter buying pension plans for her parents, married sons taking care of his in-laws and staying together.
  3. Womxn taking responsibility for their own future, making financial decisions for their family, thereby encouraging womxn to buy term cover life insurance for them.
    Investment priorities in girls' education, making her responsible and self-dependable.
  4. Stop showing only womxn lead in kitchen spaces and home appliances commercial ads.

Sign my petition asking ASCI to send a directive to all its member companies to follow this strictly before March 8, 2021.

Life Insurance commercials are just an example. They are appealing and emotional, but what are they conveying from ages?

  • Man's death, and womxn as beneficiary
  • Daughter's wedding plan; portraying them as a burden.  
  • An educational plan for my kids' future (more prominently for son's education abroad)

Commercials of life insurance companies have regressively shown the contribution of womxn in managing the family finances. According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in 2017-18, womxn bought 32% of life insurance policies, which is about 9 million out of 28.2 million of individual life insurance policies.

Now, the point is where are these womxn? Why can't we see them in our everyday commercials? The patriarchal societal norms glorifies men taking up responsibility for womxn. Thereby, making womxn dependent on their father before marriage and then on their partners. The same cycle is followed in the commercials as well.

Nevertheless, there are many advertisements (one from Dhara Cooking Oil brand ) creating gender sensitive commercials to bring about a social change. ASCI must honor the advertising companies either with a certification or a badge.

Sign my petition asking ASCI to accredit the advertising companies creating gender sensitive commercials on the eve of International Womxn's Day i.e. March 8, 2021.