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Advertising (in)equality project

Expressions of Interest for Project Reference Group

About the Project

Our everyday lives are saturated with advertisements, which consciously and unconsciously shape our beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviours. Research shows that advertising has historically under-represented girls and women and depicted them in stereotyped ways, and that, over time, portrayals of girls and women have become more sexualised and objectifying. These depictions have negative impacts on women’s health and wellbeing, contribute to the attitudes and behaviours that drive violence against women, and help to perpetuate gender inequality in our society more broadly.

Because advertising is so influential, it also has the potential to positively transform gender norms and to support and normalise gender equality. For many years, community groups, academics and industry and grassroots activists have been raising awareness about stereotyping and sexualisation in advertising, and advocating for change.

In an Australian first, Women’s Health Victoria has been funded by the Victorian Government to engage industry, businesses, regulators, academics, activists and community members to build support for action to end sexism in advertising. To deliver this project, we are collaborating with expert partners Our Watch, Domestic Violence Victoria, RMIT University, City of Melbourne, Collective Shout and Venus Comms.

The project aims to:

  • Consolidate the evidence on the impacts of gender inequality in advertising
  • Engage and bring together key stakeholders in the advertising industry, business, regulation and the community
  • Translate the evidence & educate the community

About the Reference Group

We are establishing a cross-sectoral Reference Group to help guide the project. In addition to the seven project partners, we are looking to engage a broader group of new partners from the advertising industry (creative agencies), business (who commission advertisements), consumer representatives, organisations with expertise in intersectional approaches, prevention practitioners, government representatives, and other relevant experts.

The Reference Group will provide advice on how best to engage and build the capacity of advertising agencies, peak bodies, business, regulators, prevention practitioners and the community to take action on gender inequality in advertising. Reference Group members will also have an opportunity to provide input into key project deliverables.

It is expected that the Reference Group will meet approximately every two months until September 2019 (and potentially beyond this, subject to funding). Some additional communication with the Reference Group may be required between meetings and will take place via email or an appropriate online platform.

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