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Spain enacts new code to get rid of sexism in children’s toy ads

Spain enacts new code to get rid of sexism in children’s toy ads
New code of conduct aims to stop practices like marketing cars exclusively to boys and dolls to girls

By Alyssa McMurtry

OVIEDO, Spain (AA) - A new code of conduct entered into effect in Spain on Thursday that aims to eliminate gender stereotypes in children’s toy advertisements.

Just as the Christmas shopping season begins, advertisers in Spain are set to stop standard practices like marketing dolls exclusively to girls or cars to boys.

It even forbids more indirect associations like using pink to sell “girl toys” and blue to sell “boy toys.”

“The goal is for toy commercials to be more egalitarian, accurate and constructive… and for the ads to use inclusive language and present positive role models to encourage healthy, responsible, and sustainable consumption,” said the Spanish government in a statement.

The new code follows a 2020 government-commissioned survey of children’s advertisements, which found that children’s toy ads were rife with gender stereotypes.

For instance, 34% of ads that involved a profession targeted to girls showed jobs related to the beauty sector. On the other hand, 50% of the same types of ads for boys depicted pilots, police officers, or soldiers.

The survey also found that 11% of all advertisements sexualized girls, another practice expressly forbidden under the new code of conduct.

Gender stereotypes appeared in the bulk of toy ads for girls, according to the survey. Most commonly, girls were associated with being beautiful and related to the domestic sphere.

On the flip side, 71% of gender stereotypes for boys were related to being a warrior, hero, or adventurer.

The new code, signed onto by an association representing around 80% of toy sales in Spain, means any advertisements violating the new rules should be taken down.

At the same time, it also requires advertisements to include pictograms that provide more information on the products, such as their price range and if assembly is required.

“Toys free of stereotypes allow children to have fun with total freedom and reach their full potential as adults,” said Alberto Garzon, Spain’s minister of consumer affairs. “We must insist on (non-stereotypical) messages, because advertising aimed at children also helps shape their identity.”

source: News Feed
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