Magazine article Marketing

ANALYSIS: Will EC Anti-Sexism Proposal Affect UK Ads?

Magazine article Marketing

ANALYSIS: Will EC Anti-Sexism Proposal Affect UK Ads?

Article excerpt

The clampdown may not be as harsh as is being suggested, predicts Lionel Stanbrook.

European Commission press officers have been busy recently. What must have seemed a fairly ordinary, even boring, proposal for your average social engineer, namely 'to implement the principle of equality between women and men by eliminating existing inequalities and promoting full equality', complete with pedantic UN-style vocabulary and endlessly otiose phrases about how unfair, er, unfair discrimination is, has backfired horrendously into a major media hoo-ha - and allowed editors to republish as illustrative material all those sexy pictures of Sophie Dahl et al.

The proposal drafted by the European Commission Social Affairs Directorate is based on Article 13 (1) of the European Treaty, which confers on the Council of Ministers the power to take any necessary measures to combat all discrimination based, among other grounds, on sex. So this proposal makes sense within the framework in which the Commission is required to operate.

Over time, the European treaties have developed to include social goals with community action on equality between men and women. It is aimed mainly toward eliminating discrimination on grounds of sex in regard to pay and employment relations. Since the relevant treaties, the European Union has an extensive mandate in this area.

The proposal, which is intended to become a Directive, and thus law in all the member states, sets out a series of measures to implement the principle of equality between men and women where discrimination occurs, in goods and services, education, health, social welfare, taxation not linked to a professional activity, media and advertising. …

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