Advertising Authority in the United Kingdom Bans Computer Advert For Only Having Male Actors As Gender Stereotyping

I have previously criticized the new law, enforced by the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), that bans gender stereotypes in advertising. It is the ultimate expression of the “nanny state” phenomenon in the United Kingdom where speech is increasingly regulated and sanctioned by the state along a best values agenda. In 2019, commercials for Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Volkswagen were banned that left many of us speechless, particularly those who wanted to use humor in commercial speech. The latest example of this censorship is UK retailer PC Specialist, which saw an advert banned simply because it showed three men excited over using a PC for gaming. The problem? Women like gaming too. Just having men therefore further a gender stereotype.

The advert has a voiceover stating “It’s the beginning of the end. The end of following. It’s the start of freedom, individuality, choice. It’s an uprising. An insurgence. For the players, the gamers, the ‘I’ll sleep laters’, the creators, the editors, the music makers. The techies, the coders, the illustrators. Bespoke, customised, like no other. From the specialists for the specialists. PC Specialist.”

Eight people, that’s right, eight, complained and the censors of the Advertising Standards Authority swooped in to ban the advert because it perpetuated harmful gender stereotypes by depicting men in roles that were stereotypically male. Just because the three actors were men, the Authority declared that the company was implying that it was only men who were interested in technology and computers.

The fact is that the company has a customer base that is almost 90 percent male so it went with young actors that reflected that based, a standard marketing decision. The explanation from the Authority shows how every problem looks like a nail when you all you have is a hammer:

“The ad repeatedly cut to images of only men, who were both prominent and central to the ad’s message of opportunity and excellence across multiple desirable career paths. We therefore considered that the ad implied that excellence in those roles and fields would be seen as the preserve of men. Because of that, we considered that the ad went further than just featuring a cross-section of the advertiser’s core customer base and implied that only men could excel in those roles.”

The Authority is a prominent example of how free speech is being radically curtailed in the United Kingdom under a slew of speech regulations and censorship provisions. It is also an example of how speech regulation becomes insatiable, particularly when you empower an office whose very mission is to find gender stereotyping that justifies its own existence.

Here is the commercial:

43 thoughts on “Advertising Authority in the United Kingdom Bans Computer Advert For Only Having Male Actors As Gender Stereotyping”

  1. I have it on reliable authority that Britain has had a ‘conservative’ government since 2010. The efforts of the Conservative Party caucus in parliament to put an end to these travesties have been precisely what?

  2. The problem? Women like gaming too. Just having men therefore further a gender stereotype.

    Not one word in that advertisement mentioning gender. Images of 3 people however were presented and for all we know, they all could be transgender. Seems like the regulators have their own stereotyping going on.

    1. Congrats on being more ridiculous than the people you’re criticizing. I didn’t think that would be possible. And your “argument” doesn’t work because the people you’re criticizing do not distinguish between transgender men and “cisgender” men.

      1. Thank you. That was exactly the critique I was looking for. Provide a ridiculous story and all bets are off on how ridiculous the responses will be.

        1. Ok, fair enough. The problem really isn’t the lunacy, though, per se. It’s that the lunacy is being imposed by the government. That’s the line that Turely is taking.

          1. It’s that the lunacy is being imposed by the government.

            Of course. Lunacy in a free market rarely survives. It takes the force of government to sustain lunacy beyond it’s normal life cycle.

            Add this to the list of grievances that make up the long train of abuses and usurpations typically endured by the people, until they’ve had enough.

      1. mespo – I can never forget the taped phone call where Charles wanted to be a tampon so he could be inside Camilla all the time. HRH Charles the Tampon.

        1. I can forget it. Couples say goofy things to each other if there’s any affection between them at all. The people who bugged his phone and leaked that tape should have been dealt with very harshly.

          1. DSS – I do not think they should have gotten his communications, but that statement has always stuck with me. I always thought Charles was a twit and that proved he was a tampon in waiting. 😉

              1. DSS – having taught high school for many many years, high school is never over. 😉

          2. “The people who bugged his phone and leaked that tape should have been dealt with very harshly.”


                1. Anonymous – so it was okay for him to cheat on Diana with Camilla. I have no sympathy for adulterers who get caught.

                  1. So in Paul’s opinion, “it was okay to bug his phone and leak the tape.”

                    And we know a little bit more about Paul.

                    1. “Mr. Schulte”??

                      “Me and Mrs. Jones” comes to mind.

                      A new song, perhaps:

                      “Anonymous at 1:54 PM and Mr. Schulte”

                      It just doesn’t have the same ring to it…, but who knows.

              1. She was cheating on him as well. There were at least three men on her dance card whose names are known.

                She wasn’t speaking to two of her three siblings at the time of her death. She also sh!tcanned a nanny to which her boys were quite attached and she cut up another in the media (she couldn’t fire the woman because the palace had hired her after the separation). Both of these women were at Wm.’s wedding in 2011 and one was at Harry’s in 2018,

                There’s a passably well-sourced assessment of her attributed to the royal cousin who lived in the palace apartment next to her’s: “bitter, nasty”. The lady-in-waiting assigned in 1981 to train her for public appearances said she refused to take instruction.(“this is boring, Sue”).

                Here’s a suggestion: the lovely Diana was a difficult woman in domestic circumstances. As in just-this-side-of-Marilyn- Monroe difficult.

                1. DSS – I think the lovers came after the Taj Majal photo shoot. It was clear she wasn’t getting any from Charles and Charles was getting it from Camillia, so what is good for the gander is good for the goose.

    1. Charles has not a blessed thing to do with this. That aside, he’s interested in old buildings and raw land.

  3. It’s no coincidence that men dominate the fields of math and science. It’s a matter of personal preference that infuriates the Left. It also points up the difference between the sexes. Another Leftist taboo.Their solution: lie about reality. It’s the core of what makes them the enemy of the people.

    1. In my college days, math, computer sci and engineering classes were overwhelmingly Asian. Asian males predominated, followed by Asian females, then white males and white females. No blacks; no Hispanics. The ad showed black men, who are consumers of video games, but not the “creators and coders.” So if they’re going to portray a black male for the sake of diversity, they could have included an Asian female, who is very likely to be employed as a coder in Silicon Valley.

  4. I don’t know what’s more disturbing, the censorship or the never grow up and be a man ad. What are the censors fighting for? Women! yes, you to can be a video game imbecile.

  5. The U.S. is not far behind the U. K. on suppressing free speech. We’ve been asleep for generations while the drum beat of socialism whittles away at our rights.

    1. PR:
      “The U.S. is not far behind the U. K. on suppressing free speech. We’ve been asleep for generations while the drum beat of socialism whittles away at our rights.”
      Given that this was a UK government agency involved, in what ways does our government suppress your free speech such that we are “not far behind the UK” in this regard?

  6. What about Bent People? They gotta include gay men, gay women, and dumb government people. Brexit. Pull out now like your father should have.

    1. “I do not think Brexit plus Megxit are going to save the U.K.”
      I do. The Labour Party has broken trust with its core constituency – white working class voters. Their ideology is dead and their leadership in disarray. Sound familiar? Like Sweden, the Brits will come around to embracing tradition, custom and old British values. It’s a cycle. The first step is running out the invaders from their midst. Sweden just started; the Brits will follow as will the rest of Western Europe. Mayhem loses its charm. Add to that the flashy exodus of the Woke Couple to Canada and you have a trend.

      1. mespo – supposedly they are only staying in Canada until Trump is no longer President.

          1. mespo – considering what Trump has been through, I think he deserves a third term.

      2. We’ll see the benefits of Brexit if and when the Conservative Party starts stripping flagitious EU measures out of British law codes, putting serious controls on the volume of immigration, modifying immigration screens, and deporting illegal aliens.

        The number of settler’s visas issued during the post-war period shouldn’t have averaged more than 85,000 a year, if that. Every person granted such a visa should have been (a) under the age of 14 or (b) proficient in English as demonstrated in a written and oral examination.

        Every person arriving from a menu of problem countries should have been (a) part of a family (father, mother, children with none of the young of marriageable age) or (b) part of an established older married couple.

        Every person arriving would have had to put in years worth of wage or salaried employment ‘ere they were eligible for social benefits (or been married to someone who did), with the precise term of years varying according to what the benefit was.

        Every person arriving would know it was his task to navigate British society without help from the government or the legal profession bar what was necessary to protect him and his house from criminals and tortfeasors. Not everyone will be fair to you or kind to you or patient with you.

        Every person would know that they would not receive British citizenship until they had been palpable residents of Britain (and / or in a British uniform) for the majority of their life, and that receiving British citizenship requires renouncing your previous citizenship unless that other country gives alliegiance to the Queen.

    2. Our single best guess in re ‘Megxit’ is that Prince Harry wants his role reconfigured so his menu of activities resembles that of his cousin, Peter Phillips. If that’s the case, it’s getting 100x as much ink as it merits.

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