Women, Outdoor Advertising and Public Policy
2007 Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, UK
Despite decades of feminist awareness and activism, women continue to be portrayed in outdoor advertising in a limited and sexist manner. The fact that in public space audiences are exposed to such images without choice, renders the issue an important public policy concern. Sex in Public utilises a large outdoor advertising data collection to examine the contemporary outdoor advertising landscape, documenting the routine portrayal of women as thin, white, young and idle.
This book examines why such portrayals are concerning for feminists as well as for public policy, and explores the advertising self-regulation systems that facilitate the display of such images. This book criticises sexist outdoor advertising as a form of sexual harassment given that imagery often bearing very strong semblance to pin-ups which would be outlawed in a workplace are readily displayed in public space, reflecting a troublesome public policy double standard. Understanding sexist outdoor advertising as a form of sexual harassment is a new framework that Sex in Public offers to understand, critique and condemn such images.
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