Straight white men are the new women in advertising

The Globe and Mail in Canada reports that men are the new women in advertising - depicted as buffoons and brain dead characters to be made fun of. Dan Stevelman of Calgary is tired of ads that depict men as "fools who need a woman to show them how to function in society."

Let the backlash agains the doofus dad stereotype begin!

"I used to laugh them off . . . but I think it's gone so overboard," says Dan Stevelman of Calgary. He's tired of ads that depict men as "fools who need a woman to show them how to function in society."

Some call it harmless humour. Others say it's sexist stereotyping. An advertiser would never get away with portraying women as drooling idiots -- at least not today -- so why do so many commercials mock men?

They're the only targets left.

"We live in such a politically correct environment that it is no longer acceptable to make fun of anyone in advertising other than straight, white men," says Chris Staples, a partner at Vancouver agency Rethink.

Female empowerment is another factor. Historically, ads have depicted women as either "housewives or whores," says Janet Kestin, co-creative director at Ogilvy & Mather in Toronto. The female character in ads was often "draped over the hood of a car or on her knees scrubbing the kitchen floor."

Now, it's men's turn to be stereotyped -- as hopeless cooks, sports addicts and unromantic husbands. "Men are the new women," Ms. Kestin explains.

That doesn't make it right, critics say.

"I'm very disappointed in the way men are portrayed in ads. We're either buffoons, or the object of aggression," says Gene Colosimo, a director with Fathers Are Capable Too, a fathers' rights group.

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