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Regulation & Law

Rightmove’s ‘downtrodden dad’ TV ad isn’t sexist, says regulator

Advertising Standards Authority says portrayal of daughters, mum and chore-avoiding dad draws on stereotypes but was 'not harmful'.

Nigel Lewis

outnumbered rightmove ad

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed a viewer’s complaint that a Rightmove TV advert featuring a weary dad struggling to get some me-time was sexist.

The father of four daughters is shown in his cramped house where he ends up trying to read his magazine in the bathroom and back garden before looking at Rightmove listings on his phone.

He then appears in a new larger house, goes into a shed at the bottom of the garden and sits down to read his magazine while his children’s faces appear at the window.

The complainant, who believed that the ad depicted women and girls as demanding and annoying and men as not taking responsibility for childcare, challenged whether it perpetuated harmful gender stereotypes.

Exceptional times

But the ASA said the overriding impression was of a family’s hectic life in a home they were outgrowing and that the scenes in which the dad was shown relaxing were those exceptional times when he tried to take a few moments for himself, rather than a harmful depiction of a father who avoided childcare and chores, or of annoying women and girls.

It added: “While the presentation of the scenario undeniably drew on gender stereotypes, we did not consider that it did so in a way that was likely to cause harm.”

A Rightmove spokesman tells the Negotiator: “We carefully consider the depiction of characters in everything that we produce, and we were sorry to hear that this TV ad made someone make a formal complaint.

“The aim of the ad is to show a loving home where the dad loves the interaction with his kids, and to bring to life on screen one of the most common reasons for moving home, the need for a bigger home with more space.”

The ad was launched in December 2018.

Is it sexist? You decide

November 18, 2020

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