Panel discussion on 'Gender Nuances in Advertising' held

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Mumbai, Oct 31 (UNI) Population First, a communications and advocacy NGO, in association with one of the world's largest advertising clubs, the Advertising Club Bombay, organised a presentation and panel discussion on 'Gender nuances in advertising' which was held yesterday.

The speakers were Santosh Desai , MD and CEO, Futue Brands and A L Sharada, programme director, Population First. They presented and analysed the portrayal of men, women and children in advertisements. The idea was to understand how gender stereotypes are reinforced or challenged in ads.

The presentation by the speakers was followed by a panel discussion comprising top advertising professionals including ad world professionals Priti Nair, Sukanya Kripalu and Apurva Purohit. The discussion was moderated by Pranesh Misra.

Speaking to reporters Bobby Sista, Executive Trustee, Population First, said, ''The Laadli campaign advocates a media that is gender sensitive and challenges the typical perceptions of men, women and children. The media intervention assumes great significance because of its sheer potential to mould public opinion. We have been receiving tremendous support of ad agencies and news media groups alike; they are aware of their role in projection of the girl/child woman in a positive light.'' Laadli was launched to address the core issues of son preference and undervaluing of the girl child, which results in discrimination against the girl child. The worst form of gender discrimination is the selective elimination of the girl child in the foetal stage, or nowadays with the availability of fertility techniques, the pre-selection of a boy in the conception stage itself. What is shocking is that this phenomenon is rampant even in Mumbai, home to lakhs of 'empowered' women; a city which is considered a 'safe haven' for women, Mr Sista said.

'' The Census 2001 figures showed the child sex ratio of the city to be just 898 girls for every 1000 boy in 0 to 6 years age group. Cities the world over have more girls per 1000 boys in the same age group. The NGO works with college youth, communities, government and the media to correct this gender imbalance in the population'', informed Mr Sista.

In March this year, the Laadli Media Awards were launched at NCPA to felicitate media professionals who have developed advertising, films or news coverage that is gender sensitive. In the advertising category for services and products, agencies Saatchi&Saatchi, O&M, Leo Burnett were felicitated for their campaigns Tata Tetley 'Couple in train', Pond's 'Excuses' and HDFC 'Papa' respectively.


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