EU bosses set to make 'sexist' TV ads history

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London, Sept 6 : Classic adverts like Wonderbra's "Hello Boys" featuring model Eva Herzigova could soon become a distant memory, if European Union (EU) bosses get their way.

MEPs want TV regulators to make it illegal to show any commercial that shows scantily dressed women - or blokes- because they say it's sexist.

The new rules come in a report by the EU's women's rights committee.

Swedish MEP Eva-Britt Svensson urged Britain and other members to use existing equality, sexism and discrimination laws to control advertising.

She wants regulatory bodies set up to monitor ads and introduce a "zero-tolerance" policy against "sexist insults or degrading images".

"Gender stereotyping in advertising straitjackets women, men, girls and boys by restricting individuals to predetermined and artificial roles that are often degrading, humiliating and dumbed down for both sexes," Telegraph quoted Svensson, as saying.

She added: "Gender stereotyping in advertising is one of several factors that have a big influence in efforts to make society more gender equal.

"When women and men are portrayed in a stereotypical way the consequence may be that it becomes difficult in other contexts to see women and men's resources and abilities."

The Advertising Standards Authority however had said there are already checks in place to prevent "discriminatory or harmful" material.

A spokesman said: "Although the ASA supports the overall objectives of the report... the approach suggested is inflexible and impractical."

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