Are you beach body ready
'Are you beach body ready' advertising campaign was widely criticised in the UK for objectifying women. Protein World/Facebook

Tough new rules on gender stereotyping in advertising are to be introduced aimed at ending ads that feature men trying and failing to complete simple household tasks.

Trade body the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) stereotypes in ads can "restrict the choices, aspirations and opportunities" for people in all parts of society.

It added that after a review into gender roles in marketing "a tougher line is needed on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles or characteristics which can potentially cause harm, including ads which mock people for not conforming to gender stereotypes."

The body, which rules on the acceptability of ads for the marketing industry, laid out depictions it is likely to find "problematic" in future.

These include "an ad which depicts family members creating a mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up".

And "an ad that suggests a specific activity is inappropriate for boys because it is stereotypically associated with girls, or vice-versa".

The body said it would draw up new codes around these depictions and then would "administer and enforce those standards".

ASA said it already bans ads on grounds of objectification, inappropriate sexualisation, and for suggesting it is desirable for young women to be unhealthily thin.

Tougher standards

ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: "While advertising is only one of many factors that contribute to unequal gender outcomes, tougher advertising standards can play an important role in tackling inequalities and improving outcomes for individuals, the economy and society as a whole."

The body said in the past it had received complaints from members of the public about ads that featured sexist stereotypes or mocked people who didn't follow traditional roles, which it had not investigated or ruled against, because they were not in breach of the current guidelines.

These include an ad for Aptamil baby milk formula which showed girls growing up to be ballerinas and boys becoming engineers.

Complaints had also been made about adverts for fashion chain GAP which showed a boy becoming an academic, and a girl becoming a "social butterfly".

An advertisement for fast food chain KFC featured one man teasing another, who said he suffered from anxiety, over his lack of masculinity.

But the ASA added its new codes "are not intended to ban all forms of gender stereotypes". It said is acceptable to show a woman cleaning or a man doing DIY tasks.