Much like other creative professions, the advertising industry and especially its creative departments have been host to a culture of discrimination and sexual harassment, with recent high-profile incidents leading to the formation of Time's Up/Advertising in 2018. These incidents have revived feminist consciousness-raising in new forms and old, inspiring new commitments to fighting sexism in agencies. This essay discusses the origins of Time's Up/Advertising and its initial actions, as well as the challenges the movement will face in its efforts to rid the advertising industry of misogyny. These problems must be solved if advertising aspires to remain a viable creative industry.
“Mythologized for Its Misogyny”: Fighting Gender Discrimination in the Advertising Industry
Carolyn Bronstein serves as associate dean and Vincent de Paul Professor of Communication for DePaul University's College of Communication. In the last decade she has focused on many projects important to feminist scholarship, including her book Battling Pornography: The American Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement, 1976–1986 (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and her role as coeditor of Porno Chic and the Sex Wars: American Sexual Representation in the 1970s (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016). The Commission on the Status of Women (Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication) honored her in 2017 with the Donna Allen Award for Feminist Advocacy.
Jacqueline Lambiase is a professor of the department of Strategic Communication, part of Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication. For three decades she has scrutinized gendered images and sexuality in advertising and other media forms. In 2016 she won the Jean Giles-Sims Wise Woman Award, which is voted on by students in TCU's Women and Gender Studies program. With Carolyn Bronstein she published an article for Advertising and Society Quarterly in 2018 titled “#WomenNotObjects: Madonna Badger Takes on Objectification,” which includes a video interview with the feminist advertising industry leader.
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Carolyn Bronstein, Jacqueline Lambiase; “Mythologized for Its Misogyny”: Fighting Gender Discrimination in the Advertising Industry. Feminist Media Histories 1 October 2018; 4 (4): 185–198. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2018.4.4.185
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