Images of stereotyped women used in advertising were on display Wednesday night in the Gowen Room. Rachel Gaunt, a 15-year veteran of the advertising business came to UR to present ?Badvertising: Advertising?s Distorted Image of Women.?

Speaking to a crowd of more than 50 people, Gaunt showed both obvious and subtle examples of the objectification of women in advertising.

She explained how the advertising industry puts women in typecast ? one-dimensional roles in advertising ? and how much the images affect women.

?Ten minutes of looking at fashion magazines make 70 percent of women profoundly depressed,? Gaunt said.

Gaunt also had insights as to why the negative images continue. She pointed to the fact that advertising agencies are largely composed of men, and that the women in advertising are not involved in creating the ad campaigns and are not speaking up about the impact of stereotyping.

Although there are many negative images of women in advertising, Gaunt believes that people can minimize the impact on their lives. She gave a list of 10 things that anyone can do to make a difference, including sending letters to television and radio stations that display offensive ads and not supporting companies which use negative images of women in their advertising.

Gaunt was firm that the advertising industry could also be used to overturn stereotypes. She said that although ads can perpetuate negative stereotypes, they can also magnify positive images, pointing to ads from companies such as Keds shoes.

She also believes that ad agencies can change the way they depict women.

?It?s entirely possible that ad agencies will realize that positive ads not only make people feel good, but are also good for the bottom line,? she said.

The audience seemed to agree with many of Gaunt?s points.

?I think that the power of advertising is awesome and it influences people in so many ways. That?s why we need positive images,? senior Jenna Kane said.

?The key to advertising, like most other things, is awareness,? senior Jill Luchner said.

Above all, Gaunt stressed the importance of resisting the images presented in advertising.

?Be aware that the media representation of women doesn?t reflect real women at all,? she said.



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