Aug 19

Shocking New Study Reveals Overwhelming Sexism in TV & Film Ads

Spread the love

Patricia Arquette , speech, feminism, oscar speech, equal pay, Winner of Best Actress In A Supporting Role Oscar 2015Women may be fighting for equality but there is still a long way to go. TV, cinema and online adverts are overwhelmingly biased against women, with men appearing on screen FOUR times more than women, and men speaking SEVEN times more than women, according to groundbreaking new research.

The study by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media – founded by the Thelma and Louise star – and ad agency JWT New York, looked at more than 2,000 ads from over the last 10 years to get the results.

The report, released at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – the biggest global event in the advertising world  –  also found:

·       Women are twice more likely than men to be shown partially or fully nude.

·       There are twice as many male characters in ads than female characters.

·       25% of ads feature men only, while only 5% of ads feature women only.

·      18% of ads feature only male voices, while less than 3% of ads featuring female voices only.

·        Women in ads are mostly in their 20s while men are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

·        Men are almost twice as likely to be funny than women.

·        One in 10 female characters are shown in sexually revealing clothing – six times the number of male characters.

·        Men are 62% more likely to be shown as intelligent.

·        Women are 48% more likely to be shown in the kitchen while men are 50% more likely to be shown at a sporting event.

·        One in three men are shown to have a job compared to one in four women.


The researchers concluded that female presence and portrayal in ads has not changed or improved for more than a decade, from 2006 to this day.

The report, called Unpacking Gender Bias in Advertising, examined a decade’s worth of winners and entries to the Cannes Lions Awards – the Oscars of the ad industry – using automation to analyse the split between men and women.

It aims at raising awareness of explicit and implicit gender bias in advertising, and its powerful ripple effects in the world.

Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, said: “By changing the narrative, the images we use, the stories we tell about women, we can dramatically change the way the world values women and how women and girls see themselves. It’s not enough to portray more women. We need a more progressive and inclusive representation of women.”

Brent Choi, Chief Creative Officer, J. Walter Thompson New York: “What this research shows is that our industry has tent-pole moments, amazing actions or campaigns when we all rally around women, but when it comes to creating our ‘regular’ ads for our ‘regular’ clients, we forget about them.”
The research from The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University and J. Walter Thompson New York, in collaboration with University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering, analysed more than 2,000 films from the Cannes Lions archive (English language only).