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Ad competition to bust gender stereotypes - £500,000 of ad space to be won

Jul 26, 2018


City Hall and Transport for London have come up with an advertising competition to improve the way that women are represented on billboards and posters around the capital. Up for grabs is £500,000 worth of premium advertising space across the TfL network – a pretty big deal for the winning ideas!

Brands can enter by creating adverts which reflect the diversity of London, and move away from gender stereotypes. The initiative is part of the #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign, which highlights and celebrates the part women have played in making London the city it is today.

According to research, many feel that London’s ads aren’t really representative of London’s people. A lot of us think that there’s a massive (and important!) difference between the women we see on ads, and the women we work with in everyday life. Ads featuring women tend to focus on looks (skinny, doe-eyed!) but real-life women have a lot more going on than just their faces and figures! Older women, disabled women, and women from the LGBTQ+ community feel ‘invisible’ in the eyes of the media.

Representation in advertising and the media has serious effects on real people’s lives. Elsewhere in this newsletter we’ve covered the fact that businesses led by women are far less likely to get funded by angel investors than businesses led by men. That may partly be because investors aren’t used to seeing women represented as savvy business leaders, and therefore find it harder to believe in their entrepreneurial potential.

What’s more, people are less likely to buy from brands whose advertising they feel does not represent them. So it’s in everyone’s favour to give advertising a bit of a cultural update!                               

The competition is sponsored by TfL’s media partners, Exterion Media and JCDecaux. Find out more (and enter!) here.