Following an initiative from the Management of Promotion of Gender Policies, Safeguarding of Respect and Work Coexistence at the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (Spanish acronym, BCRA), new regulations have been issued to prevent stereotyping behavior in relation to financial services advertising. On the grounds that "some advertisements disseminate messages and images that directly or indirectly reproduce violence, hierarchies and segregation based on gender or experience of sexuality," on November 12, 2020 the BCRA issued Communication "A" 7162, which establishes a policy for the eradication of violence and discrimination based on gender in advertising in graphic and digital media.
This regulation provides that banks must avoid practices or actions that reflect or promote stereotyped and hierarchical views of gender, sexist language, media and/or symbolic violence against women and people from the LGBTTIQ+ group. Therefore, they should avoid mansplaining, using the image of women as a mere object unrelated to the product they are trying to market or associating such images with stereotyped behavior.
Furthermore, the BCRA's Board of Directors established that these regulations will apply to the treatment of all human beings - even when they are not users of financial services - and in all advertising they carry out for their products and/or services, regardless of the media used.
It is worth mentioning that the industry was already aware of the need for a change in the way that women were portrayed and working on it. Such is the case of the iconic Banco Galicia´s couple -Marcos and Claudia- whose image has been changing over the years. The first piece of ad was released in 2008, the ad campaign saga starring Marcos and Claudia has more than 12 years on air. At first, Claudia was depicted as a shallow, spendthrift, who only worries about spending carelessly the money earned by her husband´s hard work. Even though the bank´s couple gained fast popularity in the beginning, over the years they started receiving harsh criticism for Claudia´s stereotyped role. As a result, the bank decided to shift to a more balanced relationship between the couple by showing them as a team making decisions together.
Avoiding stereotypes is not something new but a tendency that we have been witnessing in the last couple of years throughout all industries. This new regulation in the financial sector is reinforcing this trend. Moreover, in today's world there is no margin for mistakes; a piece of ad can last less than 24 hours on air if it has a negative response on social media, regardless of the regulation. To conclude, brand´s reputation is the most precious asset companies seek to protect nowadays so -with or without regulations to enforce- avoiding stereotypes is the right thing to do.
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