IAA brings content creators, advocacy groups together on gender issue

19 Feb,2013

By A Correspondent


The International Advertising Association, India Chapter, recently organized a one-day sensitization seminar in Mumbai. The initiative, to stop Violence on Women (VoW), saw the coming together of advertising heads, advocacy groups and film and television personalities.



Srinivasan K Swamy

Srinivasan Swamy, President IAA, said, “We are delighted to have been able to bring together people from television, feature film and advertising. The people who are content creators hopefully have been sensitized in the way they think about portraying women in various forms of content. I do believe the seminar went well and overall it has been a satisfying day.”




Monica Tata

Monica Tata, Secretary, IAA, who also moderated the discussions, said, “IAAs initiative has been a resounding success. It was put together with an objective of highlighting the need of gender sensitivity across media platforms be it advertising television and films. I think we have managed to make a great start. I hope we are able to continue with the same fervour in the months to come.”



Professor Anjali Monteiro, Dean, School of Media and Cultural Studies, TISS, said, “Violence against women is a matter of the exercise of patriarchal power. We need to affirm the rights of women to dignity, to access public space and to be agents of their own making.” Anuja Gulati, State Programme Officer, United Nations Population Fund, said that education and skills would help empower women and bring them into leadership roles, leading to gender equality.


Very often, communicators consciously or unconsciously end up creating content that reinforces gender stereotypes. On the other hand, they seem to somehow think there is no “other” way certain communication can be crafted that not only does away with the issues we are often faulted with, but also can have a positive effect on gender issues while promoting the salience of our brands and services. This seminar sought to address gender nuances in communication from different perspectives.


A L Sharada

Dr A L Sharada, Programme Director, Population First, said, “It is really encouraging to see the response of the advertising fraternity to the issue of projection of women in advertisements. Often communication is influenced by the internalized gender issues and perceptions. If we have more opportunities to dialogue and discuss the message, we would be able to make advertising more gender sensitive. I believe VoW is a very positive step in this direction.”




KV Sridhar

Advocating that content in media and advertising does have an impact on people’s view on women, Sangeetha Narasimhan, Executive Creative Director, R K Swamy BBDO, opined, “Content creators need to deal with the subject of women at all times with affection in the heart and put aside lust. Only then will we begin seeing some degree of positive movement in attitudes to women.” Supporting this thought, K V Sridhar, National Creative Director, Leo Burnett, said, “Ignorance is the worst enemy. The advertising community needs to be more sensitive; can’t afford to be damaging to society.”



Josy Paul

Josy Paul, Chairman & National Creative Director, BBDO India, in his “confession speech” said, “I am evolving in my effort to be more sensitive. I am trying to create a new reality, where brands evolve with deeper sensitivity, where equality and inclusion are part of greater growth and a better world.”





Sonal Dabral
Sonal Dabral

Sonal Dabral, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, DDB Mudra, said, “The only way we in the media industry can become more responsible and sensitive towards gender portrayal issues is by stopping, reflecting and acting with conscience. For this reason VoW is a wonderful effort and it has been a privilege being a part of this initiative.” Geeta Rao, Creative Director, Geeta’s List, was of the view that communication is critical and gender sensitization is imperative in advertising, and as a content creator one needs to find ways to break stereotypes in an engaging way.



Rupal Tyagi, lead protagonist of Zee TV Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke, said, “I am glad that the programming content is changing and this is being accepted by the people.” Actress and host Mandira Bedi said, “This is a very engaging and interesting discussion. I am very glad that this initiative has been taken and I feel privileged to be part of it.”


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