Inequality in Advertising


Gender inequality is a prevalent phenomenon in contemporary society. Women tend to be subjugated and discriminated against by men. There are certain stereotypes, gender roles, and social status that society accords to men. Women are considered to be responsible for bringing up children and performing household chores. Women’s social status tends to be lower than that of men. Power and control in society are centered in the hands of men, while women do not have a say in the decision-making process. The media and advertisements have a profound impact on socialization. Advertisements and the media teach children some values which are passed on through images displayed in both print and electronic media. The portrayal of gender in advertisements has an impact on interactions between men and women. Thus, there is a need to consider inequalities in advertising, since they have an impact on the overall well-being of society.

Analysis of Advertisements

The Burger King advert can be regarded as one of the adverts which stereotypes women and portrays them as sex objects. The food advert by Burger King can be considered as one of the sexist food advertisements. The advertisement can be found in “The Bitch Magazine,” and it is aimed at ensuring that there is a high sale of hamburgers among women. The magazine portrays women as obsessed beings who consider all small things to be babies. The intended audience of the advertisement includes women, and the product being sold is a burger. In a way, the advertisement can be regarded as offensive to women, since it portrays them as people who do not know anything about hamburgers (Tringali, 2013).

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Another advertisement that stereotypes women with regard to gender include the “gold digging” shirt created by Nike. Featured in Larry Brown Sports, the shirt has attracted a lot of criticism from various sources. The phrase “Gold Digging” denotes women as a group that aims to get a man’s money. The product being sold in the advertisement is a shirt, and the intended audience includes women (Brown, 2013).

Another controversial advertisement that portrays gender stereotyping of women is the advertisement by BMW. The title of the advertisement “You know you are not her first” can be regarded as presenting women as enticing and sexual objects. The advertisement is offensive to women since it strives to portray that the lady has had sex with several men. The woman is portrayed as having had several partners, which is an indication that she sells her body. The intended audience of the advertisement is BMW customers, especially men who would wish to purchase products of the company. The source of the advertisement is Automopedia (, 2010).

The portrayal of gender in all the advertisements can be compared in a number of ways with regard to various concepts of gender. In all the three advertisements, women are portrayed as the weaker sex; they appear less competent than men. The female gender is seen to be preoccupied with trivial matters. This is contrary to men who seem more knowledgeable than women. The conclusion that can be drawn from this analysis is that society tends to victimize women. Goffman argues that, in traditional society, the relationship between men and women can be dictated by how society treats them. There are biological differences which exist between men and women. Goffman also argues that a white person is expected to behave innocently, since the white color is associated with being pure. He believed that the behavior of blacks and Asians is associated with the behavior related to people who can be dreaded by others in society (Riggins, 1990).

In conclusion, the advertisements I have examined are suggestive of the immense inequalities that exist in society. Based on the advertisements, it is apparent that society treats men with more respect than women.