Media releases

Ad Standards launches bold campaign tackling discriminatory and offensive advertising

Today saw the launch of a provocative campaign which highlights a number of social issues which can cause concern in advertising campaigns including sexism, racism, misguided claims and advertising to children.

The *kinder conditions campaign, by Ad Standards, Australia’s independent advertising complaints adjudicator, advocates for positive social messaging in advertising.

The campaign aims to challenge the community and business sectors to identify advertising that promotes social good through actions such as breaking gender stereotypes, increasing diversity and social inclusion, promoting healthy food depictions, safe driving practices, responsible marketing to children and transparency in advertising.

The advertising campaign across radio, TV, newspapers and billboards is thought-provoking, with headlines such as: “If you’re a woman don’t bother reading this ad” or “This ad is for white people only”.

The ads have been designed with the intention to challenge perceptions and remind the nation that discriminatory and offensive advertising is prohibited by the existing standards.  

Fiona Jolly, CEO of Ad Standards, said the campaign hopes to encourage the Australian public to identify advertising that exceeds the advertising Codes.

“The advertising Codes are in place to achieve greater good for everyone, protecting the nation with standards that reflect society’s values across wide-ranging social issues".

“Australians may not be aware that certain codes exist which is why we have set about bringing them to the forefront – it’s not because we get a lot of complaints about them. If the public has concerns about these issues, they can raise them and Ad Standards will act on behalf of their concerns,” said Ms Jolly.

“The fact is, while the advertising Codes set high standards, we can encourage brands to exceed these to create positive change in the world. The public should be aware of the standards in place and be encouraged to value socially progressive advertising.”

In the spirit of unifying to create a more inclusive and diverse space for advertising, Ad Standards is encouraging the public to nominate their favourite ad, one which is creative, clever, and more importantly promotes social good.