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European Parliament Urges Ad Industry To Clean Up Act

Und schon wieder neue Zensurforderungen vom



Tuesday September 16 3:45 PM EDT 

European Parliament Urges Ad Industry To Clean Up Act

By Gillian Handyside 

STRASBOURG, France (Reuter) - The European Parliament Tuesday urged
European Union governments and the advertising industry to outlaw
offensive and degrading stereotypes of women in advertising. 

Countries in the 15-member EU bloc should bring "statutory measures to
prevent any form of pornograhy in the media and in advertising and ... a
ban on advertising for pornographic products and sex tourism," the
directly elected EU assembly said. 

Euro-deputies said the EU's executive commission should help the
advertising industry draw up a voluntary code of practice and propose
tougher European-wide advertising standards. 

Pornography and portrayals of women as passive objects, sexually and
economically subordinate to men, have contributed to violence against
women and a lack of equal opportunities between the sexes, the Parliament

"We need to get away from the myth of bare flesh being the best
advertising medium," Marlene Lenz, a German Christian Democrat and author
of a parliamentary report on women in advertising, told the assembly. 

Lenz has compiled studies of trends over the past 20 years showing that
after a period of depicting men in the kitchen and women at work, the
industry is now reverting to traditional gender stereotypes. 

These dictate that women should be passive, available, young, beautiful
and preferably stupid, and suggest women "are better able to serve" -- by
providing sexual gratification or performing menial domestic chores --
than to have a serious career, Lenz says in her report. 

EU Social Affairs Commissioner Padraig Flynn promised Euro-MPs the
commission would work with the industry and national advertising watchdog
agencies to draw up an anti-discrimination code of conduct. 

"Equality (between men and women) in practice will not become a reality
until profound changes are made in many areas, not least (in) the ideas,
attitudes and images in the media," Flynn said. 

The only dissenting voice came from right-wing Italian Euro-MP Giacomo
Santini, who charged that colleagues had overstepped the mark in
championing the cause of women. 

Women in ads had to take responsibility for the image they projected, he
said, adding, "beautiful, intelligent women will always get ahead." 

Men also had to put up with ads that threatened their masculinity by
confronting them with "ostentatious ... muscular women" or "androgynous
types," Santini said.