No matter where you look, sexism is rampant in advertising. Although there have been great strides made over the past few years to level the playing field for women in the advertising industry, it’s still an uphill battle.

This isn’t just wrong – it’s also bad for business. Studies have shown that when brands use sexist ads, they can actually lose customers.

So why do so many companies continue to use these harmful tactics?

Let’s take a look at some of the most shocking sexism in advertising statistics today.

Editor Choice: Sexism in Advertising Statistics

  • Only 37% of those who appear in ads are women across the industry. Too many of them are cast in stereotypical roles.
  • 85% of women feel that advertising “needs to catch up to the real world when depicting women”
  • Only 26% of ads feature women in lead roles, and these tend to be stereotypical portrayals such as sexy objects or housewives.
  • 78% of ads feature men as the primary decision-makers, even though this is not reflective of society as a whole.
  • Men speak about 7 times more than women in advertisement.
  • 25% of ads feature men only on screen compared to 5% of ads that feature only women on screen.
  • Only 3% of creative directors at ad agencies were women.
  • 25% of all ads that feature women present them in a sexualized
  • 84% of females felt offended by sexism in advertising.
  • 76% suggesting they mainly see very thin women featured in ads.
  • 81% want to see all types of women used by brands to promote their goods
  • 68% of the surveyed women felt that women who featured in ads tend to be too young to feature in advertisements

1. 85% of women feel that advertising “needs to catch up to the real world when depicting women”

women feel that advertising


The idea that gender-positive marketing is about promoting women at the expense of men has been heavily promoted in popular culture for years. 

This false premise begs female audience members to take center stage while leaving males on their sidelines, but it’s not practical! 

It doesn’t matter if you’re advertising shampoo or cars; what matters most when creating effective ads (and brands) are equality and fairness–which mean both genders should be equally featured so they can share equally responsibility/credit along with an opportunity cost free from discrimination based upon sex.

2. 25% of all ads that feature women present them in a sexualized

feature women present them in a sexualized


Why do women in advertisements present them in a sexualized way? It’s because advertisers know that this is the only time when people will notice an advertisement. 

Especially if it features something to make you feel aroused or excited, like sex, food, drugs and alcohol. 

This means that they are more willing to buy what’s being sold without thinking too much about whether or not it’s actually good for them.

Nowadays, companies use ads with naked girls on TV screens during any men sporting event to get your attention; men won’t be able to focus on anything else but their arousal level instead of paying attention to the game at hand ̶ which can lead viewers into buying certain products just by chance!

3. 84% of females felt offended by sexism in advertising

females felt offended by sexism in advertising


Women are insulted by sexism in advertising, but they also find it more memorable. 

The study found that 84% of women felt personally offended when confronted with sexist ads and videos. 

They didn’t just feel anger or disgust; instead, this sentiment was followed up by a feeling of being threatened as well as their sense of self-worth being diminished. 

What’s interesting is that these feelings were not mirrored at all among men who watched the same video clips! Instead, males reported feeling amused or scornful which led to them remembering the material better than females did. 

If you’re looking for ways to market your product without alienating female customers then make sure you avoid any kind of bias against one gender over another – whether intentional or unintentional.

4. 76% suggesting they mainly see very thin women featured in ads.

suggesting they mainly see very thin women featured in ads


This is a concerning statistic, and one that we hope to change. In order for us to make advertising more inclusive, it’s important for companies to be aware of the types of people they are not including in their marketing content or ads. 

We want you know that there’s no reason your company needs to exclude any demographic from your product offerings – if anything, this will only help increase sales by making more customers feel welcome and included when viewing your products!

5. 81% want to see all types of women used by brands to promote their goods

want to see all types of women used by brands to promote their goods

(Marketing Week)

Conclusion paragraph: Today we’ve learned that 81% of people want to see all types of women used by brands and companies in their advertising. 

So, what does this mean for you? It means it is more important than ever before to consider the diversity on your team when creating ads. 

If you don’t have a diverse group of creatives who can represent different ethnicities or religious affiliations then you might be missing out on some huge opportunities! 

6. 68% of the surveyed women felt that women who featured in ads tend to be too young to feature in advertisements

of the surveyed women felt that women who featured in ads tend to be too young to feature in advertisements

(Marketing Week)

The women were asked to describe how they felt about the age of models used in ads. The survey concluded that 68% of the female participants agreed with the fact that ads normally relied on models who were too young. 

Most participants stated that they wanted to see women who looked like them in ads, as opposed to overly youthful people. They further added that they would feel better about a product if they saw a model closer to their own age.

7. According to researcher Tom Reichert, professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, “Sex sells because it attracts attention. People are hard-wired to notice sexually relevant information, so ads with sexual content get noticed”.

(Business Daily)

The quantity of advertisements in the media has risen in recent years, particularly in the sexier industries. Denying the reality that this is a controversial topic. Using sex in advertisements frequently results in effective and remarkable campaigns.

Brands such as Victoria’s Secret and GoDaddy have created advertisements that are not actually about their products. Rather, they employ sexual appeal to capture the interest of the audience. Getting a potential buyer’s attention is half the problem in sales.

These commercials are perfect for encouraging spontaneous purchases. To figure this out, we need to comprehend which industries use sexuality in their marketing strategies. Almost all types of businesses use sex in their advertisements. 

The commercials are determined by the style of clothes worn and the amount of physical closeness between the models. The extensive use of sexual content in advertisements helps to the continuation of this strategy. Ads in specialized categories like beauty, alcohol, and entertainment are responsible for much of the growth. 

Thought-provoking advertising is also frequent in other categories. Like pharmaceuticals, medicine, clothing,  travel, health, and hygiene.

8. 85% of individuals who have seen ads that portray women as incompetent, helpless, or dumb


Just as you should avoid using sexist language in your copy, you should also watch out for ads that portray women this way. 

In many ways, these ads perpetuate the idea that “men are good, and women are weak,” which is, of course, an unfair notion to all parties involved. 

You can’t represent something as timeless or universally positive without taking opinion into account, so be sure to look at things from multiple angles and keep your audience in mind before hiring a freelance artist.

9. 82 percent of surveyed respondents have seen ads they feel are ridiculous in the way they portray women


The overall result is that 79 percent of respondents feel that the way women are used in advertising doesn’t make sense for the company behind the ads. 

It may not just be women who watch these ads who are affected by them; it’s possible that the messages embedded in certain commercials will affect how men view women as well.

10. 76% have caught a glimpse of advertising they consider offensive to women


It only takes one glance out the window of a subway car, or out of a store window, to realize that pervasive images of and messages about women can be found everywhere. 

They’re in the advertising posters, frame-ready prints and t-shirts, TV commercials and even newspaper ads. They’re on sites like Facebook and MySpace, in video games and on book covers. 

One look at the way women are portrayed—as sex symbols or icons of objectification—and it’s easy to see why many women feel that they are negatively affected by this advertising (76% of those polled agree).

11. 41% claim some of the advertisements they see are normally sexist toward men, 62% say the same for women

(The Globe)

In a recent Leger Marketing survey, only 16% of respondents felt that all of the advertising they saw was equal in terms of masculinity and femininity. 

In fact, it was found that 41% felt that some of the advertisements they see were generally sexist toward men. An astounding 62% said the same thing about women.

12. 46% of those surveyed feel annoyed with the sexist ads, while 15 percent do feel resigned

(The Globe)

The results made it clear that the majority of Americans do not like sexist ads; however, the majority did note have seen them.

Advertisers should stay away from these advertisements because they are becoming more and more obsolete. Supporting sexism has been frowned against for a long time, therefore it is surprising that it still remains in modern advertising.

Perhaps in the future, companies will consider these factors when creating their ads.

13. less than 40 of people say they’re less likely to purchase products from advertisers who use sexist ads

(The Globe)

A majority of Americans say sexism is a problem in advertising, and around half of people say they are less likely to purchase products advertised by sexist companies.

14. More than 30 percent of the firms are to blame since they’re involved in selling sexist ads

(The Globe)

What’s more, an analysis of the 52 companies that were most frequently tagged as sexist by Twitter users reveals that nearly half (23) were marketing firms. 

Led by Aegis Media, which placed on the list four times, these companies represent a striking concentration of sexism in the advertising industry itself.

Final Thought

It is frightening to think that advertisers still depend on stereotypes to sell products. Sexism in advertising adds to the persistence of these habits in our culture. And it does nothing to advance gender equality.

People must continue to fight for their rights and demand respect from businesses to change the reality. Furthermore, advertisers could make a huge impact if they avoided using prejudices to categorize people. It can be by color, class, or gender, as discriminating against people for who they are is unethical.


How is gender portrayed in advertisements?

Answer: There is a lot of discussion on how gender is portrayed in advertisements, and it’s a complicated topic. Generally speaking, however, it seems that advertising often tries to portray men and women in traditional gender roles. This can be seen in commercials that feature men as strong and capable providers, while women are often shown as beautiful and sex-symbols.

While there are certainly some exceptions, this stereotype tends to reinforce the idea that men and women should act a certain way, which can ultimately be harmful to both sexes. It’s important to note that not all advertising follows this pattern, but it’s definitely something to be aware of.

Is there female representation in advertising?

There is definitely a lack of female representation in advertising. A study by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media found that only 28.3% of characters in ads are female, and that these characters are typically shown in stereotypical roles such as caregivers or sex objects. This is despite the fact that women make up more than half of the population.

The lack of female representation has a lot of negative consequences. It contributes to the stereotype that women are not valuable beyond their looks, it limits the ways women can see themselves portrayed, and it ultimately leads to fewer opportunities for women both behind and in front of the camera. We need more female representation in advertising so that all people can see themselves represented fairly and accurately.

What is gender equality in advertising?

Gender equality in advertising is the practice of portraying both genders in an equal manner. This includes showing men and women in the same types of roles and using the same language to describe them.

Some people argue that gender equality in advertising is important because it sends a message to society that men and women are equal. Others say that it’s important because it helps to break down stereotypes about men and women. Still others believe that it’s simply the right thing to do.

And the broader relevance of gender equality, to name a few topics.



The Globe



Business Daily 


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