Men in advertising: dumb and dumber.


While women have made progress in advertising, retiring the babe on the hood of a car for the beer-babe, working mom and even the ironic woman on a hood of a car roles, men have scraped the bottom of the stereotype barrel. When they're not the bumbling incompetent fool, pathetic mid-life crisis bloke, the failed seducer or the enormous klutz they seem to still be at the butt end of the joke.

The Sundaymail has investigated and find there is a double standard, while women need to appear strong in ads. Mel Coenen , AD at George Patterson "...we can depict men as stupid today and can still be politically correct."

Meanwhile, this years winner of the Media Campaign of the Year award, Women’s Health Clubs which are women-only gyms, won with its outdoor campaign, "No Toms, no Harrys and no Dicks".

"The number of complaints made by men about how men are portrayed in ads is up according to the Advertising Standards Board (Australia)." Sundaymail

This year complaints of sex discrimination in ads by men account for 39 per cent of all sex discrimination complaints about ads. In 2001 the figure was 24 per cent.

The Australian Family Association says the joke on men in ads has gone too far.

"These ads have an us-against-them mentality," said Mr Muehlenberg. "They are empowering women by squashing men."

Super adgrunts might want to view this commercial, which puts men in a less than flattering light, and that you see, is the funny.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (5)

  • anonymous's picture

    In advertising, will these type of stereotypes ever be squashed? I doubt it. It's all about finding a characteristic and playing it up to a "comic" degree.

    Sep 16, 2003
  • anonymous's picture

    It's so true. Every time I turn on the TV there's just one ad after the other that insults men or has some perverse twist of female superiority. Ads that demean men in order to stroke the female ego are pop-culture nowadays. If it were being done to women it would cause outrage. But then again, it would never be done to women nowadays. Just goes to show how hate is perfectly acceptable still if you direct it at the right group of people.

    Sep 29, 2003
  • Shika's picture

    it would never be done to women nowadays - what rock are you living under boy?

    Oct 29, 2003
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    blah, blah, blah...are you kidding me?? men have a huge impact in advertising. most of the time, men are shown as macho and tough. the way men are portrayed is false. men feel they need to put on disguise because a "real man" is cool and tough and doesn't answer to anybody. this is huring society. what about the gay population? men are seen as powerful and almost make it seem that this is the way men should be. it is very hard for men who are gay to come out because of the impact of the media on young boys. so what if women are in more ads. most of the time, a women is portrayed as a weak sex object. men don't have the stereotpe as "dumb," they are put into the stereotype as "controlling, macho, powerful." think about it.

    Nov 17, 2003

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