PC Specialist is a company specialising in high end gaming PCs and has been forced to pull a TV advert following a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on the grounds the advert perpetuated harmful stereotypes of women. Yes really!
A grand total of eight complaints were submitted to the ASA from fearless busybodies and the permanently offended who said the ad perpetuated harmful gender stereotypes by depicting men in roles that were stereotypically male, and implied it was only men who were interested in technology and computers.
Viewers can watch the banned advert here but be careful, it can cause harm and offence.
PC Specialist responded to the watchdog to say its customer base was 87.5 per cent male, aged between 15 and 35 years, and “their product, branding and service had been developed for and aimed at that target audience and the characters in the ad therefore represented a cross-section of the PC Specialist core customer base”.
“PC Specialist said the characters looked into the camera as though they were using a PC Specialist machine,” the ASA continued. “They did not believe they represented negative stereotypes and were playing the roles of entrepreneurs, forward-thinkers and hard workers.
“They considered there was no comparison between men and women in the ad and the ad did not imply that women were not interested in computers. They said the ad did not juxtapose men using computers with women not using computers, nor did the ad explicitly state that women did not use computers or that the service was unsuitable for them.”
The Council of the ASA which acts as the “jury” decided that the ad breached BCAP Code rule 4.14 (Harm and offence).