For those of you living under a rock for the last four days (or living in the US, which can, on occasion, mean the same thing) Australia’s Federal election yielded a stunning and history-making ‘no result’. The buzzards are circling, there are a few rats deserting various sinking ships and sub-editors the country over have completely run out of headlines that successfully pun on the word ‘hung’ without saying exactly how well.
For a while there, things were looking up. It seemed the message about negative representations of women in advertising was finally getting though, and while not actually being acted upon, wasn’t being argued about. It appeared that one day we might actually not be plagued with boobs and bums plastered across billboards, televisions and newspapers. That day wasn’t coming soon – but the suggestion, if not the promise, was there.
Victoria’s government is planning to regulate advertisers to prevent them using exploitative or discriminatory depictions of women. Apparently, the Australian Association of National Advertisers already have a code of conduct and a tradition of self-regulation. As a result, AANA says they will fight the government’s plans. They say regulation is unnecessary – because they have this voluntary code of conduct, which they all follow… voluntarily.